Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Friday pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Police for not responding promptly to the complaint of Lucknow University authorities on the incident of vandalism on its campus earlier this week. The Lucknow bench of the high court expressed indignation when the DGP, Lucknow SSP, Lucknow University vice-chancellor, registrar and proctor appeared before it on summons in connection with the incident.
Allahabad HC Pulls Up UP Police For Not Acting Promptly In Lucknow University Vandalism Case
The bench of justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Singh directed police authorities to file an affidavit on their action in the matter. The matter will be next heard on 16 July. Twenty-five expelled students of the Lucknow University had assaulted the vice-chancellor and teachers on 4 July.
The court, which took suo motu cognisance of the matter on the basis of newspaper reports, also asked the university to give suggestions as to what should be done to control hooliganism on the campus.
The high court had on Thursday issued summons to top Lucknow University officials, besides the Uttar Pradesh DGP to explain the attack, prompting the police chief to ask an inspector general rank officer to probe the campus clashes.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh swung into action and handed over the probe into the violence to Lucknow Range IGP Sujeet Pandey, transferred Circle Officer Anurag Singh and suspended university police outpost in-charge Pankaj Mishra.
The DGP's action came after a delegation of Lucknow University's teachers led by vice-chancellor SP Singh called on him. The DGP assured the vice-chancellor of strict action against those who indulged in violence and asked the teachers to go back to work. While issuing summons, the Lucknow bench of the high court also ordered Lucknow senior superintendent of police to be present before it and explain the incident and why the police did not respond promptly when the university authorities informed it about the imminent attack.
The court had also asked the two top police officers to detail steps taken in the wake of violence to improve the security situation in the university campus.
The court took on record the copies of a Hindi and an English daily and directed its registry to register the matter as a Public Interest Litigation with its title as 'Lucknow University Vandalism'.
Questioning the role of local police, the bench had on Thursday said, "It is unfortunate and extremely painful that students have the courage, audacity and boldness to enter the premises from where they have been expelled and create physical violence and attack the vice-chancellor, teachers and staff of the university." In its order, the court had noted, "In all the leading newspapers of Lucknow, one of the front-page news is about the attack on teachers of Lucknow University, forcing the vice-chancellor to close the university indefinitely (sine die) and stalling the entire admission process for the Academic Year 2018-19."
"The reports further mentions that on 4 July, 2018 a group of about 25 students, which included some students who had been expelled, entered the university premises firstly around 11.30 am and surrounded the vice-chancellor and raised slogans and also threatened him of dire consequences and demanded re-admission.
"Later again at about 1.30 pm, when the vice-chancellor was returning from a function inside the University premises, these students again attacked the vice chancellor and his security. Some 10 teachers of the university were injured along with several security and other staff of the university," the bench wrote in its order.
The bench noted in its order that the newspaper reports mentioned that the police was informed about the likelihood of the expelled students creating ruckus, but despite the same, the local police did not take appropriate measures to control the situation which was apprehended by the University administration.
The university was closed till further orders on Thursday 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 Lucknow University vice-chancellor has said 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 had told reporters after the incident.
"All those involved in the incident were not Lucknow University 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. Asked when the university plans to reopen, the vice-chancellor 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 have 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 year and waved black flags, opposing his visit to the campus. The police had then arrested 11 students. When asked about the row over admissions, the vice-chancellor said, "There are laid down procedures for admission to the university. Norms cannot be flouted."