Afternoon Voice

HC takes cognisance of Lucknow University violence; DGP orders probe

The Allahabad High Court today took suo motu cognizance of the violence in Lucknow University and issued summons to its vice chancellor and registrar, prompting the Uttar Pradesh Police to hand over the probe to IG (Lucknow range) Sujeet Pandey.

Acting swiftly, UP DGP O P Singh transferred Circle Officer Anurag Singh and suspended university police outpost incharge Pankaj Mishra.

The DGP’s action came after a delegation of Lucknow University (LU) teachers led by Vice Chancellor S P Singh called on him here this afternoon.

Taking serious cognisance of the incident, the DGP assured the VC that strict action would be taken against those who indulged in violence and asked the teachers to go back to work.

“I have handed over the probe into the Lucknow varsity violence to IG (Lucknow range). I have transferred the circle officer concerned and suspended the LU police outpost incharge,” the DGP said.

“I have assured the teachers of strict action and have appealed to them to return to work,” he said.

The Lucknow bench of the high court also directed senior SP, Lucknow, to be present before it and explain the incident.

The order was issued by a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Singh Chauhan following media reports of a group of students assaulting the vice chancellor and other top officers of the university yesterday.

The VC, the registrar and the SSP have been asked to be present before the bench at 10.15 am tomorrow.

The university was closed till further orders yesterday after a group of students protesting over admission to the new academic session reportedly attacked teachers, injuring over a dozen of them, officials said.

The LU vice chancellor said that the youths claimed they were from the Samajwadi Party.

“Over a dozen teachers were injured in the incident. I might have also been attacked by them but my colleagues saved me and I reached my office,” he told reporters here yesterday.

“All those involved in the incident were not LU students, and were anti-social elements and outsiders claiming themselves to be SP workers. There were 25-30 such persons involved in the attack,” he said.

“The university has been closed sine die and the counselling going on for the admissions has also been stopped. We are going to lodge an FIR in this connection against those we identify,” the VC had said.

When asked when the university planned to reopen, the VC said, “It has been closed till further orders.”

Among the teachers injured were proctor Vinod Singh and chief provost Sangita Rani, university officials said.

Some university guards were also hurt in the incident.

“Three persons have been arrested in this connection. We are awaiting a complaint by the university administration,” Trans Gomti SP Harendra Kumar said.

A group of over 20 ex-students of the varsity had been protesting on the campus since Monday, alleging that they were denied admission to postgraduate courses because they had taken part in an agitation against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

They had allegedly obstructed Adityanath’s convoy in June last and waved black flags, opposing his visit to the campus. The police had then arrested 11 students.

Most of the students who took part in the protests against Adityanath last year were members of the left-wing All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Samajwadi Party’s student wing Chhatra Sabha.

When asked about the row over admissions, the VC said, “There are laid down procedures for admission to the university. It cannot be given against norms”.