C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police gets tough on campus troublemakers
First-ever database on student leaders built as part of ‘Mission PU’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Apparently going into a “changed” mode to prevent incidents of violence during the upcoming Panjab University students council elections, the local police is learnt to have given a dressing down to at least eleven students identified as “notorious troublemakers” as part of a secretly undertaken ‘Mission PU’, launched three months ago.

While to many onlookers the cops seem to be just checking vehicles and hostels, the police in collaboration with the intelligence unit has so far quietly conducted more than a score of “data collection” raids in Punjab and counselled over 35 other student leaders during “special sessions” to halt the PU campus turning into a breeding ground for gangsters.

The mission included police searches in the hometowns of many student leaders, including Abohar, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Mansa, Barnala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ludhiana. According to sources close to the police, the raids were conducted on the basis of vital information related to the student leaders’ local hideouts, hangouts, vehicles owned by them and a detailed analysis of various complaints that otherwise lay forgotten in files.

As a result, the sources claimed, the police has created a first of its kind “data bank” on student “trouble makers”. The database includes information on about 30 suspected “troubled makers” and eleven “notorious leaders”. In addition, there are other students who have been arrested and continue to be in custody.

The data bank contains details of each of these student leaders beginning with their home address, details of family members, friends and associates, arms owned by the students or their family members (wherever applicable), access to vehicles, places frequented by them, local hideouts, records of previous complaints and the students’ lifestyles and weaknesses.

The sources added the Chandigarh police launched ‘Mission PU’ in the wake of disturbing reports about various “so called students leaders” graduating from scuffles and spats to being involved in getting houses evacuated and even paying protection money”

PU officials taken to task

The police has decided to file criminal cases against any official of the PU found to be encouraging “notorious student leaders”. Claiming that PU staff had on occasions shielded “erring” student leaders from being punished, the cops have issued a letter to the varsity administration saying “any attempt to save or encourage notorious student leaders would lead to registration of case”.

‘DAV most dangerous campus’

Claiming the DAV College campus lacked effective security, the police has declared it to be more “dangerous” than the Panjab University campus as a “breeding ground” for crime. Besides, Lawrence Bishnoi, who was arrested recently, has been called the most “notorious student representative”.

}Various reports on recent criminal incidents in the city have featured names of university students, some of whom were repeat offenders. ‘Mission PU’ was meticulously planned to first build a data bank, conduct surveillance and instill a fear of punishment. The results have been very encouraging.~

Naunihal Singh, UT SSP

Students’ brawls are no longer confined to campuses and students don’t fight with only sticks or ‘kirpans’ . We joined hands with the CID, conducted checks and counseled these troublemakers.

Desh Raj Singh, ASP

This is the first time the CID will be involved in the elections. We built a network of intelligence inputs for keeping tabs on the campus. Special checks were conducted at hostels and some hideouts identified by intelligence men.

Anil Joshi, CID DSP 



‘Ramandeep and I had swapped seats just before the mishap’
Totally shattered, survivor says the trauma will haunt him for life
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Amandeep Singh (left), one of the survivors in the accident in which his four friends died, at his residence in Sector 24, Chandigarh, on Tuesday.
Shell-shocked Amandeep Singh (left), one of the survivors in the accident in which his four friends died, at his residence in Sector 24, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. His father narrates the sequence of events. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, August 30
“I was sitting on the rear seat of the Tata Safari when we set off from Sector 35 to Sukhna Lake. As we started back around midnight, I told Ramandeep sitting on the front seat that I was not comfortable sitting at the rear. He offered me his seat and himself came to occupy the rear seat towards the right window of the SUV,” said a grief stricken Amandeep who had a miraculous escape in the yesterday’s mishap in which four of his friends were killed when their SUV rammed into a tree on the Sector 22/23 dividing road.

As destiny would have it, Ramandeep was crushed to death along with three others, including Captain Ranjot, Prabhkiran and Abhinet, in the mishap, while Amandeep had a miraculous escape, with Prabhkiran critically injured. Both victims who survived were seated on the left side of the vehicle.

The six friends in their mid-20s were on their way to drop Amandeep when their SUV hit the railing on the middle of the road, took a U-turn and then hit a tree.

“Had Ramandeep and I not swapped our seats, Raman could have been saved and I would have not been here alive. Ramandeep was well built, had a good height and was very close to me. We became friends three years ago. The moment he swapped seats with me, I had no idea that we were headed towards the worst tragedy of our lives,” he said.

Breaking down many times while recalling the sequence of events, Amandeep said the accident occurred in a split second. “I remember Prabhkiran, who was driving the Safari, suddenly losing balance due to a tyre burst. He lost control of the steering wheel. My friends sitting on the rear had shouted “dekho dekho...,” and after that I just do not remember anything that happened,” he said.

“I gained consciousness and could only see the police struggling to take all of us out. I could never imagine that a fun-filled outing with friends could turn out to be so tragic,” he said while breaking down.

“I had gone to appear for an exam on Sunday morning. Ramandeep called me in the evening and we all planned to go out. Captain Ranjot was Raman’s friend and I was introduced to him only yesterday. Our other friends joined us and we went to play video games in Sector 35. Raman, Ranjot and I were then joined by Prabhpreet, Abhinet and Prabhkiran. We then left our Maruti parked in Sector 35 and went for a drive together in the Safari,” he said.

Second survivor not fit to record statement

As the investigating officer in the Monday’s mishap went to the PGI to record the statement of Prabhkiran Singh, who sustained a spine fracture, the victim was unfit to talk. Family members told the police that he was not in a state to record his statement.



More outsiders rounded up in PU hostels
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The tall claims by the Panjab University administration of getting campus hostels rid of outsiders fell flat on Tuesday when a police team rounded up at least a dozen of them in a surprise search conducted during the wee hours of the morning.

Interestingly, the cops caught these outsiders only two days after 22 were found staying illegally in the hostels. In an apparent cover-up effort red faced varsity officials were busy saying the “erring” hostellers had been issued “show cause notices” as to why permission for their hostel accommodation should not be cancelled.

The police raids came in the wake of confirmed reports that outsiders staying in the hostels were engaged in late night poll campaigning. Going by the past record of fights between hostellers at night, which often ended in bloody encounters, the police this time was not taking any chance, with the hostellers calling the exercise “draconian”.

Many students, who claimed they were “late night visitors” who had come to the hostels to meet up with friends, particularly in the context of the upcoming PU student council elections, said: “It’s inconvenient travelling to our homes late in the night after campaigning sessions with our friends. We merely stayed over for the night in the hostel rooms of our friends”. The police meanwhile took the "outsiders" to the Sector 11 police station let them off only after receiving an assurance from the varsity administration that it would handle the matter appropriately.

“All those students who were found playing host to these outsiders have been issued a notice asking them why their hostel allotment shouldn’t be cancelled. We’ve given them a few days to reply, failing which we’ll definitely take strict action against them,” said PU dean of students’ welfare AS Ahluwalia. Varsity officials also met various student representatives and warned them against allowing any outsider to enter their hostels late at night, even for poll campaigning.

Student clash avoided

The police and security staff on the PU campus had a tough time on Tuesday when members of both the major student bodies - SOPU and PUSU arrived at the University Institute of Engineering & Technology building at the same time. The two groups barged into a room, leading to a great deal of commotion. Teachers soon raised an alarm and the student activists were dispersed.




Bomb hoax at airport, flights delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Scores of passengers at the Chandigarh airport were stranded following the recovery of a tissue paper inside a Kingfisher airplane this afternoon, which read that the plane would explode in 90 minutes.

All passengers were asked to de-board by the authorities. The UT police and the security agencies, including the CRPF, reached the spot along with a bomb disposal squad and carried out a two-hour-long search. However, nothing was found. The police has registered a case against unidentified persons.

The Kingfisher flight number IT 3185 in which the note was found was thus delayed by more than two hours. It departed at 5:45 pm for Mumbai, while the scheduled time of the departure was 3.40 pm. The flight left with 100 passengers and six crew members.

Another flight of the same airlines meant for New Delhi was also delayed by over two hours. As the airbus parked in the apron area was being searched, another plane arrived from New Delhi. It was kept on the runway till the security personnel completed their search till 5.30 pm, said sources.

The Chandigarh police has registered a case under section 506 (criminal intimidation) against unidentified persons. The SHO of police station Sector 31, Inspector Jaspal Singh, said the case had been registered against unidentified persons and it seemed to be a prank played by a passenger.

“The tissue paper was found stuck on a seat. It seems to be a prank, we will obtain the record of the passengers from the Kingfisher authorities for investigations,” he said. 


175 families rendered homeless
Estate office razes 350 illegal structures at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
A total of 175 families were rendered homeless following a massive demolition drive by the UT Estate Office at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony in Mauli Jagran here today.

Around 350 illegal structures were razed during the demolition drive, which lasted over four hours under tight security. Four JCB machines, an earthmover, around 200 labourers and officials of the Estate Office conducted the drive.

Though most of the houses in the colony had already been vacated following the allotment of houses to the dwellers under the Slum Rehabilitated Scheme, 175 ‘ineligible’ families were staying in the colony. Besides, 15 cowsheds were also removed during the drive.

The drive, which begun at 9.30 am, did not witness any protest from the occupants of the houses. As the drive started, dwellers occupying illegal houses were seen pulling down their structures to save the construction material for further use.

UT Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta, who was present at the site to supervise the drive, said: “We don’t want to destroy the belongings of the occupants. We had given them enough time to remove their belongings. Today also, we allowed them to take their things away.”

A few days ago, some of the residents of the colony had filed three different cases in the district court against the demolition. “We were told by the court to follow the rules and regulations in this matter, which we followed,” claimed Gupta.

During the drive, encroachments on around five acres were removed. The possession of the land has been given to the Chandigarh Housing Board to construct flats under the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme.

The next targets of the Estate Office were Sanjay Colony (243 structures) at Industrial Area, Pandit Colony (455 structures), Kuldeep Colony (140 structures) and Mazdoor Colony (158 structures), all located at Kajheri, and Kalyan Colony (89 structures) in Khuda Lahora, said Gupta, adding that the illegal structures from these colonies would be removed soon.

Rental rates up

y Taking the advantage of ‘helplessness’ of families that were rendered homeless following the demolition drive, owners of houses in the vicinity doubled the house rents. A room, which was available for a monthly rent of Rs 800 just two days ago, was now available between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500.

Dhanwati, whose house was razed in the demolition drive, lamented that the rents have gone beyond the reach of many of the families as most of them were working as labourers. “Both of my children are studying in the government school in Mauli Jagran. I don’t want to affect their study by shifting to any other place. But I am unable to pay Rs 2,000 rent. I don’t know where should I go,” rued Dhanwati.

Similarly, Ramraj, a rickshaw puller, said he was staying in a one-room house with his family in the colony. “I want to live in the nearby colony as most of his relatives are staying here. But I can’t afford Rs 2,000 rent,” he said. 



MC issues 84 challans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The enforcement department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation issued 84 challans to shopkeepers in Industrial Area, Phase II, today during a special anti-encroachment drive.

MC officials said the encroachers were habitual offenders and used to dump their vehicles and other equipment in the greenbelt and on the municipal land. A large number of oil drums and trucks loaded with charcoal were dumped at the site for past many years.

Fifty trucks and four big cranes were lifted during the drive. Besides, various roles of steel sheets, wire roles, furniture and scrap of JCB machines were impounded from the site.

The drive was carried out under the supervision of Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach and assisted by enforcement inspector Kashmira Singh along with supporting staff of the enforcement wing of the MC. Three JCB machines were deployed to clear the area. Five truckloads of items were also seized during the drive. 



Voodos basement to be sealed

Chandigarh, August 30
The UT Estate Office today decided to seal Voodos, a restaurant-cum-discotheque in Sector 26, Chandigarh.

Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) Rahul Gupta issued the order to seal the basement of the premises on account of misuse of the place under the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007. The basement was being used as a bar and a discotheque without obtaining the requisite permission.

A notice in this regard has already been served to the owner of the restaurant and the building as well, said a senior official of the Estate Office. — TNS



SIT formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
A week after the he UT Administration scrapped the recruitment of 144 bus conductors in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), the UT Police today formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe the case.

The investigation of the case has been handed over to DSP (Crime) who will be heading the SIT. The decision to investigate the case followed the report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, which established that nine of the successful candidates had impersonated during the examination. Around 30,000 candidates had appeared for the examination, of which 144 were selected. Of these, 139 belonged to Haryana and two from Punjab and only one from Chandigarh.



Monkey injures 9-month-old
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
There is no respite from monkey menace in the city as simians continue to attack and injure residents.

In a recent case, a nine-month old kid was attacked and bitten by a monkey on Tuesday morning at a house Sector 27-D. This is the second such incident reported within two months in the same part of the Sector. Residents feel that their children are not safe even inside the house.

As usual, Neena Thakur a resident of House No. 3128 woke up and went to kitchen at 6 am, unaware of the fact that troops of monkeys have already surrounded her house. Within in few minutes, her nine-month-old son Mihir started screaming and before Neena could react, a big monkey had already bitten her son.

“I ran back to the kitchen and threw dishes on the monkey to scare him. After much effort, I could manage to drive him out of my house”, she said.

Terrified, the mother revealed that there were marks of claws and teeth on her son’s leg after which he was immediately rushed to Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32 for vaccination.

The troop of monkeys then entered the next house and managed to take fruits and vegetables after opening the fridge. Luckily, the 15-day-old infant in the house was saved from monkey attack.

On July 21, Asmita, a resident of same sector, was attacked by a gang of monkeys while taking a walk in a park of the locality. Shikha Njhawan, president, Welfare Committee Sector 27-D, said monkeys come inside houses, climb car roofs, run away with fruits lying in the balcony and sometimes sneak away with clothes hanging outside. “Despite repeated complaints, the problem has not been solved. The forest department sends langoors to scare the monkeys away. However, as soon as langoors leave, monkeys re-appear,” she added.

Residents of other northern sectors of Chandigarh are facing the same problem. The worst affected are Sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 27, 28, 18, 19 and Mani Majra. 



16 yrs on, Beant Singh Memorial yet to see light of the day
Resources crunch holds up the project
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,August 30
Exactly 16 years after former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was instrumental in the fight against terrorism in Punjab, was killed by militants on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat here, a memorial to commemorate his sacrifice in Sector 42 here hangs fire.

Initiated at a cost of Rs 40 crore in 1997 on a seven-acre plot to commemorate the memory of Beant Singh, the Beant Singh Memorial and Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, a joint venture of the Punjab Government and the UT Administration, has missed several deadlines with the reported resources crunch holding up the project, which was conceived as a major entertainment and tourist attraction in the southern parts of Chandigarh.

Initially, Punjab was to contribute Rs 10 crore towards the project, while the UT was to pool in Rs 2 crore. Punjab has, however, contributed only Rs 6 crore till now with more financial grant proposed, while the UT administration has put in Rs 11 crore.

The lack of coordination between the Punjab Government and the UT administration and resources crunch with the Punjab Government have forced the authorities to compromise on the original plan of the complex. Recently, the authorities concerned scrapped the auditorium project. Two more buildings had been planned earlier for the memorial, but the proposal was shelved due to lack of funds.

With the project taking time to complete, the authorities concerned decided to utilise the existing infrastructure. At present, the library at the building is functioning.

During a recent visit, Union Tourism Minister Selja, while announcing setting up of the convention centre, assured all help for the completion of the project.

Besides, convention centre and open air theatres, a martyr gallery was also be set up at the centre, where a representation of Jallianwala Bagh and mannequins of Lala Lajpat Rai, Udham Singh, Bhagat Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh and his children were to be set up.

With development of the Sector 42 lake and a couple of gardens in the vicinity, the UT administration want to develop the area as a tourist attraction.



Code of conduct leads to cancellation of Teej celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Due to implementation of the SGPC code of conduct in Chandigarh, the Municipal Corporation had to cancel its Teej celebrations today. This was decided in the Art, Sports and Culture Committee meeting held today under the chair of nominated councillor Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri.

During the meeting, Brig Chandpuri informed the members that as there was the code of conduct in place in the city, for any celebrations or inauguration function authorities had to take special permission from the Election Commission of India.

Earlier, on August 5 the MC had issued a public notice that the event had been postponed due to bad weather, which was scheduled at Dahlia Garden, opposite Fragrance Garden, Sector 36. The decision about the fresh date and the mode of its arrangements would be decided later.

Sources in the corporation revealed that till date a sum of Rs 80,000 had been spent by the authorities on hoardings, invitation cards and hiring of artistes for the festival. Sources said a tussle was going on among the councillors on the issue as to why the Art, Sports and Culture Committee had outsourced the arrangements of Teej to a private organiser.

As in the past no event of the MC was managed by a private firm so there was no set policy whether in any event an event manager could be hired for organising it.

No issue was tabled or discussed during the Finance and Contract Committee meeting today due to the code of conduct.



Students protest termination of their 3 ‘favourite’ teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
High drama prevailed at SD Senior Secondary School, Sector 24, today when students irked over the management’s decision to terminate three of their ‘best teachers’ staged an aggressive protest.

The controversy started to brew when school students and teachers got to know that Sangeeta Sharma, a social studies teacher, Nisha, a science teacher, and Umesh, a maths teacher, had been terminated by the management for allegedly not giving statements against the former principal who had moved the High Court against the school.

The students went to meet the principal, but were turned away. They then started shouting slogans. They also damaged the school property. The staff members also joined them.

When school manager Saubhagya Wardhan tried to pacify them, they tried to hit him claiming that school was being run by him as a dictator. Principal Ajay Sharma, however, clarified that it was a committee constituted by the DPI (Schools) which had terminated these teachers on the basis of complaints against them.

The education department, however, in an official statement issued today said no such order had been passed, but the teachers and management had been summoned to solve the issue tomorrow.



Abducted girl recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The UT Police recovered a minor girl, who was allegedly kidnapped from here from a train at Warangal railway station this evening. The minor girl was allegedly abducted by a south Indian youth identified as Kanak Raj. The girl was recovered about eight hours after her father lodged a complaint with the police.

While the boy is stated to be 21-year-old, the girl is 15-year-old. The police said the father of the girl alleged his daughter who was studying in a government school at Maloya failed to return home yesterday.

His father alleged that Kanaj Raj was the driver of a private school bus and had allegedly taken away his daughter as he wished to marry her.

The police, after carrying out the inquiry, found out that the boy and the girl were to travel in a train going towards Chennai, as reservations were made in their names.

The police added that the railway police was informed about the two and it stopped them at Warangal railway station. 



Battle lines drawn at PU
Tribune News Service

A supporter campaigns for her party at SGGSC-26, Chandigarh.
A supporter campaigns for her party at SGGSC-26, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, August 30
With the declaration of final list of candidates for the forthcoming elections, the battle lines are finally drawn between the top guns SOPU-SOI; PUSU-ABVP and INSO.

While three candidates will contest for the post of president, four girls will be fighting it out for the post of vice-president. Similarly, four candidates have been finalised for the post of general secretary, while two candidates will compete for post of joint secretary.

“We had received over 25 applications for these four posts, but following the consideration of objections and subsequent withdrawals, the list has been finalised,” said AS Ahluwalia, Dean, Student Welfare.

Prohibitory orders issued

y Brijendra Singh, District Magistrate , UT administration, has prohibited the public in general and any member thereof from forming an assembly of five or more persons, taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans, carrying of lathis within the premises of Panjab University, Chandigarh, for a period of three days. The orders were issued following apprehensions that some groups and organisations might cause obstruction, annoyance or injury to persons and endanger human life and property, disturb public peace and cause riots and affrays. The order would come into force with effect from the zero hour on September 1, 2011, and will be effective for a period of three days up to and including September 3, 2011.

Various moods on campus
PUSU supporters enjoy a ride; boys ride a swanky mobike; and a girl proves that she is in no way behind boys by riding a mobike at Panjab University on Tuesday.
(Clockwise from top)  PUSU supporters enjoy a ride; boys ride a swanky mobike; and a girl proves that she is in no way behind boys by riding a mobike at Panjab University on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan and Vinay Malik.

...and the contenders are 

presidential candidates

Sumit Goklaney

Party : PUSU and its alliance

Department: UBS

“I will put in efforts to tide over the problems of students doing professional courses.”

Trail of promises

n Getting more hostels sanctioned for girls

n A new hostel for boys

n Wifi system in all departments

n Installations of special complaint boxes in each department

Pushpinder Sharma

Party: SOPU and its allies

Department: Law

“Holistic student development will be my key priority. In addition to striving for adequate and comfortable hostels, I will ensure upgradation of the university’s academic environs. A student in my reign will get his views represented in all issues concerning him,”

Trail of promises

n Two new hostels for boys and girls

n Smart classrooms in PU

n Introduction of teacher evaluation

n New student centre on south campus

Ankur Rana

Party: HSA SFI

Department: UIET

“We will be students’ voice and ensure that their problems are attended to.”

Trail of promises

n Getting better hostel accommodation

n Increased student representation in PU affairs.

Simrpal Kaur

Party: SOPU and its alliance

Department: English

“ I will address the basic problems of hostelers which get ignored many a times.”


Party : PUSU and alliance

Department: Sanskrit

“Despite outnumbering boys, we hardly have a say in PU. I will be the voice of girls.” 

General secretary

Harmeet Singh Bodhe

Party: SOPU and allies

Department: Chemistry

Anil Dul

Party: Pusu and allies

Department: Law

Joint secretary

Gaurav Kumar

Party: SOPU and allies

Department: Psychology

Aggyapal Singh

Department: UIET.



Students in a fix over last date of campaigning
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Uncertainty continues to shadow the determination of last day of campaigning in Panjab University. While recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee allow students to continue their campaigns till 24 hours before the elections, the UT police in a bid to maintain peace, has asked them to stop 72 hours before the student poll.

While the PU authorities claimed to have informed ASP Deshraj Singh about the recommendations of the committee, they are uncertain about tomorrow’s schedule, as they are yet to get any response.

“We do respect their efforts, but students cannot be denied their rights. They have to strictly go by the Lyngdoh’s recommendations which allow them to campaign till tomorrow, but I cannot say anything till we get a formal order from the police,” said AS Ahluwalia, Dean, Student Welfare.

Reacting to it, ASP Desh Raj said the final decision would be communicated to the PU official tomorrow morning.

Students were taken by surprise when they were asked to seek permission to campaign in hostels today. The authorities even divided time slots, where each party got one hour to cover all girls hostels.

‘campaigning our right’

In the name of curbing violence, they are snatching our rights. When the Lyngdoh committee allows us to campaign till tomorrow, then why these draconian orders? The open house was cancelled, we are not allowed to conduct rallies and now we have to seek permissions to go to hostels. The elections are being held at the whims and fancies of the UT police. — Robin Brar, SOPU

No open house was allowed and the entire campaign is being marred by their so-called security measures. Campaigning till tomorrow is our right and we should be allowed to do so. — Sukhjeet Brar, PUSU



NSUI, ABVP play second fiddle to local outfits
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Though the Congress and the BJP may be calling the shots in the national politics, their student wings --the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)-- play a second fiddle to the local “non-political” outfits in the Panjab University student elections.

In fact, the case is no different for the leftist Students’ Federation of India (SFI), which along with the NSUI and ABVP dominate the election scenario in major universities, including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University (DU) in New Delhi and Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) in Shimla.

Over the years, the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) have dominated the electoral scene at PU campus. At the most, the student wings of the political parties, including NSUI and ABVP, have been junior partners in alliances cobbled together in the run-up to the elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC).

With the lone parliamentary seat from the city and municipal corporation, the only democratic institution where leaders from all major political parties vie for representation, there is hardly any political growth for the student leaders. In fact, the indifference of the political parties to their student wings is one of the major reasons for the sidelining in the Panjab University politics.

“The lack of support from Central leadership has resulted in our stunted growth at the local level, though we have been raising issues affecting thousands of students,” alleged Sunny Mehta, a leader of the NSUI.

A leader of the ABVP on the condition of anonymity said there was no political growth in small city like Chandigarh where even senior leaders vie for a ticket for MC councillorship. “Our role in the local political set-up is secondary with the result that the national and local leadership hardly spares any thought for us,” the leader lamented.

The patronage of a particular party to SOPU and PUSU leadership is well known and it also works to the disadvantage of the student wings of the political parties, sources said. In a scenario where PUSU and SOPU have had a strong organisational set-up, there is hardly any chance for us to hog the limelight. That is the reason that we are content to be junior partners in the alliances over the years, a leader of the ABVP said.

It’s different in HP

n In contrast to Panjab University, the SFI made a clean sweep in the Himachal Pradesh University election held on August 20 this year. While the ABVP was able to take control of a majority of the colleges in the hilly state governed by the BJP, the NSUI also made its presence felt in certain colleges




Police in top gear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The UT police today organised a flag march at Panjab University to deter student parties from creating any nuisance on the campus. Officials said the march symbolised zero tolerance to violence this year.

PU plays safe

Even though the UT police filed an FIR against drivers of four jeeps for reckless driving a few days ago, students continue to give two hoots to traffic norms on the campus.

What, however, aggravates the woes of UT police is the fact that PU refuses to file a complaint against erring students.

“ They do not wish to file complaints fearing protest from student groups which makes us helpless at times,” said the police officials.












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