Friday, December 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India





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Violence on HPU campus
23 students expelled
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 26
As many as 12 activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) were injured when the police resorted to lathi charge to disperse a violent mob which was forcibly trying to enter the office of the Vice-Chancellor on the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) campus, here today.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent assembly of more than five persons in the campus have been imposed with immediate effect.

The activists, including the office-bearers of the Students Central Association (SCA) tried to force their entry into the office while the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.D. Sharma, was holding talks with a deputation of the ABVP. They smashed the windowpanes and broke the main gate. The police resorted to lathi charge to control the situation.

As many as seven SFI activists were taken into custody. They were identified as Trilok Bhaluni, Vishwa Bhushan, Brijender Mehra, Kuldeep Bhardwaj, Sudhir Dutta, Manoj Chandel and Harsh.

A police spokesman denied that there was any lathi charge and maintained that there was a minor scuffle. He said a security guard and the DSP were manhandled by the students. While the subdivisional magistrate on duty was also pushed around.

Mr Tikender, a senior SFI leader, however, alleged that the police resorted to a brutal lathi charge in which scores of students were hurt. He said the federation would continue with its agitation until their demand for a CBI probe into the question paper scam was accepted.

Meanwhile, 23 Students of the SFI, including all four office-bearers of the students Central Organisation, were this evening expelled following a recommendation of the University Disciplinary Committee.

A spokesman of the university blamed the SFI for violence and said the Vice-Chancellor had invited the members of the Students Central Association for talks at the first instance. However, they did not respond to the invitation despite repeated requests. The ABVP was invited only after the association controlled by the SFI failed to turn up.

He further said there was no justification for the SFI activists to barge into the Vice-Chancellorís office and indulge in violence after it turned down the invitation. Subsequently, the NSUI was also invited for talks.

After holding discussions with various students bodies the university has decided to order an inquiry by a retired high court Judge into the question paper scam.

The demand for granting grace marks to students on the basis of the recommendations of a committee was accepted and it was also agreed to start work on the hostel for tribal students.

A committee would also be set up to look explore the possibility of starting geology classes on the campus. The demand for early declaration of re-evaluation of answersheets and providing water and electricity in the library would also be examined.
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