Protesters demand reinstatement of students rusticated for role in assaulting varsity official

The standoff between student leaders and the administration in Allahabad University worsened on Saturday as protesting students locked up the varsity’s chief proctor in his chamber, amid demands to reinstate students who had been recently rusticated for their alleged involvement in assaulting a varsity official.

The students earlier led a procession through the university campus and closed down all the counters in support of the rusticated students, demanding that they be allowed to appear in the final examinations, which are scheduled for Tuesday. Additional police personnel have been deployed on the campus amid apprehensions of violence.

PRO P.K. Sahu said attempts were being made to come to terms with the students’ demands and they had been repeatedly given assurances that their concerns would be considered. He, however, added that rules would be followed and the varsity could not be held to ransom.

Chief Proctor Mata Ambar Tiwari was not available for comment, while Vice-Chancellor R.K Singh is out of station.

Some students have initiated hunger strikes in protest.

Last month, student union leaders barged into the Vice-Chancellor’s office and allegedly assaulted his PA, who attempted to prevent them from entering the chamber. The student leaders had been alleging irregularities in admission of research scholars into which an inquiry has been ordered by the university. An FIR was also filed following this.

Student union elections were held in the Central university in September 2012, after a gap of seven years.

Student elections were banned in Uttar Pradesh during the tenure of the Mayawati government after a student’s death in election-related violence. The Samajwadi Party restored the elections in January.

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