Govind and his friends at the Government Sanskrit College may have never seen their classrooms and college premises this clean.
It was only for a day that their college was turned into one of the camping sites for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF), who were deployed by the State in view of the Secretariat siege on Monday.
Luckily, the tension eased the second day and the forces were never called into the field. But as they left for their camps on Wednesday, they had made sure that the campus where they stayed was a little cleaner than they had seen it the day they arrived.
“We cannot sit idle. We had just one day but give us 10 more days and this campus will not have even a single overgrown weed,” quipped K.R. Meena , Second in Command of the 114 battalion at Jalandhar, Punjab.
Government Model SMV High School, University College, Government Arts College and Government Sanskrit College were the main camping centres for the CRPF, BSF, and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The District Collector had declared a holiday for these educational institutions on Wednesday.
Having served in areas marked by political tensions and protests, they are trained to be alert always.
In fact, when they had arrived on Sunday night after a tiring train journey, they actually cleaned up eight classrooms allotted to them, set up the ‘kothe’ or the arms vault and ensured the area’s security.
Only then did they get some sleep, knowingly well they may have to face a thousand protesters the next day.
Not going home
As they packed their trunks and loaded them one by one into the truck, Mr.Meena says they were not returning home.
“There is no rest. Once we reach Jalandhar, we will be posted to the next region where there is unrest,” he says. In fact, it was a day after they had returned from West Bengal that they were informed of their trip to Kerala.
The uniformed men of BSF were equally prepared to move to the next location. But as of now all the forces will be stationed at the police Training College until their date of journey.
And as for Govind , he seemed too excited at having shared breakfast with the men before they left. “I will definitely remember to tell my mother to make parathas,” he quips.