Violence during campaigning and allegations of foul play continued on Wednesday in the run-up to the Delhi University Students’ Union elections.

A violent face-off between rivals Akhil Bharathiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the National Students’ Union of India in front of Kirori Mal and Hans Raj College resulted in the premises being cordoned off. Some cars were damaged in the incident.

“They [NSUI] damaged our [ABVP] car in front of Hans Raj College and tried to frighten our activists with gun-fire, and then in front of Rajdhani College a car was damaged and one activist was severely injured in the eye,” alleged ABVP activist Saket Bahuguna.

He said the ABVP had taken out a protest march in front of Ramjas College to protest against the violence.

The NSUI, on the other hand, claimed that many ABVP activists had a “criminal mentality”. However, according to the All India Students’ Association, both organisations as well as the election officer were equally to blame. “This year, the most brazen violations of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations have been seen, but the election officer refuses to even meet us, let alone entertain our complaints. It is visible all over the campus, even if we do not complain,” said AISA activist Sunny Kumar.

“From day one, printed posters are everywhere, the floors of DTC buses are covered with printed photographs and there are big hoardings of these candidates. These organisations have also grown bold because of the attitude of the election officer. The model code mandates that a candidate cannot go anywhere with more than three escorts. In the past, these organisations were frightened of the repercussions and restricted themselves to 10 escorts. This year they have been roaming around with at least 100 escorts, knowing fully well that the election officer will take no action,” he said.

Chief election officer Ashok Vohra was not available for comments. All campaigning has to stop before 12 p.m. on Thursday and the university goes to polls on Friday.

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