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Posted at: Oct 11, 2018, 2:08 AM; last updated: Oct 11, 2018, 2:08 AM (IST)

7 booked for rioting on Punjabi varsity campus

Ravneet Singh
Tribune News Service
Patiala, October 10

The police have registered a case against seven, including one unidentified person, after a violent clash among students on the Punjabi University campus on Tuesday evening.

Those booked have been identified as Harvinder Singh Sandhu, Lovepreet Singh, Jatinder Jittu, Jatin Verma, Vicky Rajputa and Tejpreet Singh Sohi.

The police have registered a case under Sections 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (Wrongful restraint), 506 (Criminal intimidation), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (Unlawful assembly) of the IPC.

Besides deployment of the police force on the campus to maintain law and order situation, the university has been closed till Monday (October 15). Of the eight students admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital, two received severe head injuries and one suffered a fracture on his hand during the clash.

The situation at Punjabi University is tense after a group of students protesting outside Vice-Chancellors (VC) BS Ghuman’s office were attacked on Tuesday night. More than 10 students, including three girls associated with the Democratic Students’ Association (DSO), were injured in the incident. While police are still investigating the matter, the injured have blamed students of the Physical Education Department and those associated with various other parties.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sukh Amrit Randhawa said, “Police force, including women personnel, have been deputed on the Punjabi University campus to maintain the law and order. This is to ensure that no violent incident occurs on the campus.”

Meanwhile, the university will remain closed till next Monday. SK Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary (Higher education) said, “I had a word with the VC. The university has involved the district administration in the matter. Officials of the university are competent to tackle the situation.”

Dean, Academics, Punjabi University, GS Batra, released a notice stating: “The university teaching, non-teaching and other offices have been closed due to administrative reasons.”

Officials including VC BS Ghuman and Registrar MS Nijjar remained incommunicado the whole day. None of the officials reached the university campus on Wednesday.

A number of outsiders, including activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta (BKU) Dakaunda, also reached the university to support and express solidarity with students injured in the clash.

The incident

Many students owing allegiance to the DSO were injured in a clash among members of various parties on Tuesday night. The injured claimed that they were attacked by students of the Physical Education Department over an allegation of misbehaviour with university provost Nishan Singh. A DSO member Amarjit, who received a fracture on his left hand and stitches on his head said, “The university administration is directly involved in the attack as we had raised questions regarding a few professors holding all major administrative posts in the university. Students of the Physical Education Department attacked us over an altercation with university provost Nishan Singh.” Members of the DSO have been protesting at the university since September 18 over various demands. Their demands include 24x7 entry for girls’ hostels and allocation of non-teaching posts to non-teaching officials only among others. Students belonging to various parties clashed on the university campus on September 18. Residents of girls’ hostels also held a protest at night on October 4.

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