Two days after a statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was vandalised and defaced in Ludhiana, direction indicators to the Rajiv Gandhi College Bhawan at Panjab University, Chandigarh, were blackened with ink on Thursday.
While those behind the act have not been identified, PU staff and NSUI members wiped the four boards clean. The Chandigarh Police registered a case under Section 3 of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Properties Act at the Sector 11 police station.
Inspector Rajiv Kumar, SHO of Sector 11 police station, said, “Acting on the complaint received from NSUI members and PU authorities, we have registered a case against an unknown person. The CCTV footage of the nearby area has been scrutinised, but so far, we have not obtained any leads about the person who did this. The investigation is in progress.”
The incident came to light on Thursday morning around 8, when a security staff informed the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of PU, Ashwani Kaul, about two boards defaced with black ink near the Rajiv Gandhi College Bhawan. As the university is hosting the North Zone Youth Festival on Thursday, and chief guest Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal was to arrive at 11.30, chief security officer Ashwani Kaul and other PU staff organised a clean-up of the two boards. Only “Rajiv Gandhi” had been inked out of the boards.
Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, Kaul said, “As I received the information, the message was further circulated to the security staff, and within half an hour, the two boards were cleaned.” Kaul added that the cleaning did not take much time as all it required was a wash with water. It was around 1 pm that a student noticed that two more direction indicators showing the way to the Bhwan, near Ankur Public School and hostel number 4, had alo been blackened. The student informed the PU security staff and also alerted NSUI members.
As the information went viral on the campus through social media, chief security officer Ashwani Kaul and NSUI members reached the scene. Police from Sector 11 police station was also informed, and the SHO arrived at the spot.
The NSUI members and the PU security staff cleaned the boards with kerosene using a cloth. The NSUI also submitted a memorandum to the chief security officer of campus to take strict action in the matter by conducting a fair inquiry, and also gave a written complaint to the local police.
Manoj Lubana, national coordinator, NSUI, said, “The signboard of Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan was blackened by some unknown elements. This is the second time that such an incident has happened at the university. Earlier, Hindi phrases were blackened on the signboards at the university.”
“Acts like this are acts of cowardice and are definitely in pursuance of political agendas. Proper investigations must be held and the miscreants should be brought to book so that acts like these don’t happen the third time,” added Lubana.
Kaul added that “as per the orders of registrar of PU, we will be forming a committee to probe the matter. A special inquiry will be conducted into the incident and to find out who has committed the offence as it is intolerable. The inquiry inputs of the committee will be given further to the police”.