Lucknow University was closed and the admission process suspended till further orders after a group of youths allegedly assaulted the proctor and a dozen teachers and staff on campus Wednesday afternoon. Three of the attackers were arrested while a case was lodged against several others at Hasanganj Police Station.
The attack took place around 500 metres from an ongoing hunger strike by undergraduate students who were denied admission to the varsity’s PG courses, near Vice-Chancellor S P Singh’s office. The V-C said that the youths tried to attack him and alleged that the attackers were outsiders, who claimed to be affiliated to the Samajwadi Party.
A few hours after the attack, 15 protesters participating in the hunger strike, including Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha leader Pooja Shukla, were detained. Police are probing whether the attack was linked to the protest.
SP (Trans-Gomti) Harendra Kumar said, “Around 1.30 pm, a few teachers and the proctor were standing around 500 metres from the dharna when a group of youths arrived and attacked them. The group tried to intercept the V-C’s car, but the driver somehow managed to take the car out. The youths assaulted the teachers and proctor and hit them with stones.”
“Policemen on campus rushed to the spot and caught two of the youths — identified as Ayush Kumar and Ankit Singh — while they were trying to escape. The two are former students of the university. Ashish Mishra alias Boxer, another ex-student, was also arrested later,” he said.
The FIR was lodged against four named and 15-20 unidentified youths.
Mahanagar Circle Officer (CO) Anurag Singh said 15 protesters were later detained. “These include Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha leader Pooja Shukla… For now, they are at the Gosaiganj police station.”
Pooja Shukla claimed she had nothing to do with the attack and she would continue her hunger strike.
Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha state president Digvijay Singh said, “Anyone can come and claim anything. None of those arrested or named belong to the Chhatra Sabha.”
Asked about the hunger strike, V-C Singh said, “If someone does not fall under the rules, how can we allow them admission?”