KURUKSHETRA: In a move that is sure to snowball into a major controversy, the Haryana Police on Friday resorted to batoncharge on students of Kurukshetra University sitting on a ‘dharna’ outside the campus demanding direct polls to elect their union leaders, injuring at least 12 of them. Similar police action against students was reported from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, but it was not immediately clear if anyone was injured there. There were also reports of protest by students in Sirsa.
More than 200 students affiliated with student organisations, including NSUI, went on a protest in front of Gate No. 3 of Kurukshetra University in support of their demands, blocking the movement of vehicles on the Kurukshetra-Pehowa Road. Kurukshetra Deputy Superintendent of Police Gurmaij Singh said police resorted to mild lathicharge when students held up traffic on the road and refused to move.
“An FIR under various sections of IPC has been registered and police is trying to arrest the student leaders who incited the students,” he said. The student union elections in Haryana colleges and universities are being organised on October 17, after a gap of 22 years. However, the BJP government in the state has decided to hold indirect polls to students unions.
In indirect polls, class representatives are elected in colleges and department representatives in universities, who will elect the president and other office-bearers of student organisations. Various students’ organisations, including NSUI and the now-disbanded INSO, have been protesting against the move to hold indirect polls.
Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Singh Hooda said the Khattar government should not “snatch” the right of students to elect their leaders directly. “Holding indirect polls in a democratic set-up has no meaning. By holding indirect elections, the government is attempting to saffronise universities’,” Hooda told reporters in Chandigarh.Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed officials to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the election.