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Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 2:26 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2018, 2:26 AM (IST)

Security ring, trishul adorn VC’s residence

Boundary wall fenced with barbed wire; guards accompany him
Security ring, trishul adorn VC’s residence
A trishul atop the official residence of the PU VC, Prof Raj Kumar, in Chandigarh on Wednesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12

Armed with guns and sticks, security guards accompany the new Vice-Chancellor of the PU, Prof Raj Kumar, where ever he goes. The 5-foot-high boundary wall of his residence on the PU campus has been fenced with a barbed wire, raising its height by some 2 ft. A saffron garland adorns a strikingly tall trishul (trident) on the roof of his house.

Despite the 11-year-old incident of stone throwing at the VC’s residence, opposite the E-series houses on the campus, no other VC, including Prof RC Sobti and Prof Arun Kumar Grover, felt the need to shield themselves from students. Back then, soon after the 2007 elections (during Sobti’s tenure), protesting students had smashed a glass window, broken flower pots and torn off the VC’s nameplate. Prof Raj Kumar, however, got a barbed wire installed around the front porch garden of his house, and double-barbed circular wire, along with barricades, at three places on the street outside his house. 

When he leaves the campus, a security van, a white Omni, escorts him to the gate. There could possibly be no threat to the VC’s life, says Renuka Salwan, Director, Public Relations, PU. She adds, “These are routine security arrangements at his residence.”

PU students and faculty have never been violent. However, a stone-throwing incident by protesting students took place on April 11, 2017, at the VC’s office. The VC’s residence used to be for the Registrar earlier. But since Prof MM Puri took over, it started getting used for VCs. 

“Prof Raj Kumar has come from the BHU. Probably, VCs had a similar security arrangement there. Prof Arun Kumar Grover had also come from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research , Mumbai, but he had his own way of functioning,” said a senior professor. 

Sometimes, Professor Sobti would even come to the office on a bicycle. Even Professor Grover, who came down heavily on the SFS during the fee hike protests, also did not feel the need for security guards. However, Prof Raj Kumar has even taken a security guard in his car to Delhi.

Is he feeling threatened?

"Previous VCs hadn’t put up such a security at the residence. Is he feeling threatened? If so, why? Probably, he is expecting a strong reaction to the agenda he has come with. "— A Professor

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