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Students take to streets against varsity decision

Friday 8 December 2006

Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW: Students’ opposition to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations forming the basis of the university union elections erupted on the streets here on Thursday when the police lathi-charged students of Lucknow University in the posh Hazratganj area.

The students were protesting against the decision of the university authorities to conduct the union elections on December 16 in accordance with the Lyngdoh Committee’s recommendations.

The university authorities had issued the poll notification on Wednesday along with a model code of conduct. The code effectively barred the tainted students, even those charged with offences like copying and warning, from contesting the polls.

Marching down from the campus, hundreds of students gheraoed the Hazratganj police station and sat on a dharna on the road.

They also forced shopkeepers in the busy market area to pull down their shutters. Police resorted to lathi-charge when the students turned violent.

Lucknow University has been simmering with discontent ever since the authorities reluctantly decided to implement the Lyngdoh report although the authorities themselves were divided on the interpretation of the report. It was only on December 4 that a meeting of the University officials presided over by Vice-Chancellor R. P. Singh decided to hold the students’ union elections as per the Lyngdoh panel’s recommendations.

Students with criminal records and those above 25 years of age were ineligible to contest the elections but the new poll guidelines put an end to the political aspirations of those charged even with minor offences. Such student leaders would not be able to contest who have either been booked by the university administration, handed out a warning, have been caught using unfair means, have escaped expulsion on some grounds or been levied penalties.

Student politics in Lucknow University was supported by all the mainstream political parties and their student wings like Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad of the BJP, National Students Union of India of the Congress and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha of Samajwadi Party.

With the political parties funding their candidates, elections in the University overshadowed the Assembly elections in matter of pomp and show.

Nominations for the elections open on December 11, while December 12 is the last date for withdrawal.

See online : The Hindu

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