BENGALURU: Security guards at Bangalore University’s Jnana Bharathi campus will soon be armed with rifles during night patrols.
The decision was taken on Wednesday following Monday’s incident wherein eight sandalwood trees were chopped and stolen from the varsity’s bio-park.
“This decision was taken after discussion with the Syndicate members, senior professors and police authorities,” said Prof K N Ningegowda, Registrar (administration), BU.
The varsity will apply for licences for the firearms with the police chief soon.
“We will apply for two licences and the rifles will be in the custody of the Jnana Bharathi police. The night security men will take them during patrols and again hand them over to the station after night duty,” said Ningegowda.
At the campus, at least 90 outsourced security guards work round-the-clock. He said if needed, the university will take the help of retired police or army personnel who have valid gun licence.
BU authorities say it is difficult to protect the trees as the area is thickly forested. Hence, BU has decided to request the forest department to help it protect valuable trees on the campus.
“The public starts entering the campus from 4.30 in the morning for walking and jogging, and we cannot restrict them. Now, we have decided to restrict walkers and joggers in some sensitive areas. Boards will be put up across the campus in this regard,” he said. In the past one-and-a-half-month, 20 sandalwood trees were chopped on the campus and the varsity has filed complaints with the police in this regard.