9 ABVP activists suspended, HPU on the edge

SHIMLA: Tension gripped the HP University campus ahead of the golden jubilee celebrations starting on July 22 following suspension of nine students for holding a dharna in front the Vice-Chancellor office despite ban.

9 ABVP activists suspended, HPU on the edge

ABVP activists during a protest at HPU in Shimla on Saturday. Tribune photo

editorial@tribune.com

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 20

Tension gripped the HP University campus ahead of the golden jubilee celebrations starting on July 22 following suspension of nine students for holding a dharna in front the Vice-Chancellor office despite ban. They were reportedly affiliated to the ABVP.

Apprehending trouble during the foundation day celebrations on Monday in which Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Education Minister Suresh Bharadwaj will be the chief guests, the university authorities have sought adequate police deployment.

The police and university authorities are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the function will pass off peacefully as the ABVP is not an organisation hostile to the BJP government.

Students staged a “dharna” on the campus on July 11 in support of their demands, defying the ban on demonstration. The university authorities set up a committee to ascertain whether the action of the students tantamount to indiscipline and warranted action.

The committee, in its report, recommended suspension of the students allegedly violating the directives, restricting the students from staging protests on the campus.

The report was submitted on July 12 and the authorities suspended nine students yesterday, triggering protests. The authorities also barred one outsider from entering the university with immediate effect.

ABVP activists again staged demonstration at Pink Petal in the HPU, lying on the ground covered with white sheets, symbolising death of the future of students today. The demonstrators, who were demanding revocation of the suspension orders of the students, also questioned the rationale behind releasing the merit lists of students for admission in postgraduate courses, without ascertaining that the results of students, who appeared in undergraduate examination, had been declared or not.

The students had the right to raise their voice against wrong decisions and failures of the authorities, said ABVP HPU unit secretary Ankit Chandel. The rival student union, Students Federation of India, has also accused Vice-Chancellor Sikander Kumar of crushing the rights of students.

“Dissent has no place in the university and students are not allowed to raise their demands in a democratic manner and we condemn the attitude of the VC and oppose the suspension of the students,” said secretary of the campus unit Jeevan Thakur.

Students charged with indiscipline

  • Some ABVP members staged a “dharna” on the campus on July 11, defying the ban on demonstration
  • The authorities set up a committee to ascertain whether the action of the students tantamount to indiscipline
  • On its recommendation,  the HPU suspended nine students yesterday

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