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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 2:11 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 2:11 AM (IST)SECURITY BLANKET FOR BANDH TODAY

Students free to protest, but won’t tolerate violence: Panjab varsity

Students free to protest, but won’t tolerate violence: Panjab varsity
Security personnel on the PU campus. A Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20

For the second time in 10 days, Panjab University is likely to shut as the Joint Students’ Action Committee (JSAC) has given a call for university bandh tomorrow. 

While the arena outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office has been fortified following the violent clashes between students and the police on April 11 during a protest by the JSAC against the fee hike and police and security personnel can be seen across the campus in large numbers, the university authorities are all geared up to curb a rerun of the violence during the protest tomorrow.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the Chief Security Officer of the PU, Prof Ashwani Kaul, said, “We won’t stop students from protesting but violence on the campus will not be allowed.” He said the students were free to protest as long as they did so within the given framework. “We have been keeping a careful vigil on the happenings. Our security personnel at all entry points are very careful. No outsiders will be allowed,” Professor Kaul said.

The decision to hold the protest by boycotting classes and shutting the university on Friday was taken by the JSAC yesterday. The JSAC comprises members of the SFS, AISA, PSU (Lalkaar) and PUSU (evening department). Aman of the PSU (Lalkaar), said, “We have given a call for university bandh tomorrow. JSAC members will go from department to department to take the movement forward and mobilise students for the protest.” “We will resort to use of force if attempts are made to stop us with the use of lathis, water cannons and pressure. It will only strengthen our determination to take this movement forward,” she said.

Outsiders to be barred

Prof Ashwani Kaul, Chief Security Officer, PU, has categorically stated that the entry of outsiders to the university campus will be barred in the wake of the university bandh call for Friday. “Students must carry their identity cards and produce the same at the entry point to avoid inconvenience,” he said, adding that since the violent clashes of April 11, the authorities had adopted a stricter checking routine. “All hostels are being checked daily,” he said. 

Foolproof arrangements

With student bodies calling for a bandh against the fee hike on Friday, the UT police have made elaborate arrangements to tackle the law and order situation at Panjab University. "The police will be 

deputed in strength to prevent any untoward incident. I cannot state the total number of policemen on task, but we will have foolproof arrangements," said Ram Rattan, DSP (Central).

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