KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Malappuram District police to provide adequate police protection to the Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University and his family at their official residence.
A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique passed the order when the petition filed by M Abdul Salam, VC, Calicut University, seeking police protection came up for consideration.
The Bench held that it was the duty of the police to ensure that adequate protection is provided to the VC and also to ensure that no obstruction is created to the ingress and egress of the VC and other officers to their office.
The VC approached the court citing inaction on the part of the police authorities in providing effective and adequate police protection to him and his family members at his residence and his office. In spite of the directions issued by the High Court that agitations should not be permitted within 200 metres from the university building, no effective steps have been taken by the police. The university has already filed a contempt of court case against the police authorities for willful disobedience of the judgments and it is pending before the court, counsel for the petitioner Santhosh Mathew submitted.
The petitioner pointed out that the strikes and agitations which are prohibited by the Kerala Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1960, are being conducted frequently by the teaching and non- teaching staff of the university and no effective steps have been taken by the police to prevent the illegal activities.
The Supreme Court had clearly held that a duty is cast upon the authorities to prevent political activities within the campus and the students organisations have no right to set up their units within the campus or to conduct union activities within the premises. The students organisations have no right to organise meetings other than official ones within the campus, in the light of the judgments. In spite of that, when agitations were carried out on the university premises, no steps have been taken by the police against it.
The VC submitted that, on numerous occasions fire torches were hurled at his residence at night by the agitators. In October 2014 itself the residence of the Vice-Chancellor was attacked twice by the agitating students. One attack was at night and another during day time while he was staying along with his wife.
He also pointed out that CCTV Camera recordings are available in the university to substantiate the fact that the ingress and egress to the VC’s Office was obstructed regularly by the agitators. During August 25, 2011, and October 15, 2014, 122 strikes were called by students unions and employees unions.
The court also issued notices to the KSU, the SFI, the MSF and several employees unions. It also directed the state to file a counter-affidavit in the case.