Mysuru: Police, after the University of Mysore student's protest turned controversial because of the use of a "Free Kashmir" placard, visited the Manasagangotri campus, where the protest was held, and collected the placards that were discarded near the main entrance.
Vice-Chancellor Hemantha Kumar told NewsKarnataka.com that there is a strict rule that students cannot stage protests on the University campus without prior permission from the Vice Chancellor, police station and dean, a rule that was apparently flouted during the recent protests. He said that a meeting with all the HODs of the University will be convened where they will be directed to take stock of the situation and give strict instructions to the students about the dos and don'ts while on the campus.
It can be recalled that on January 6, students of UoM staged a protest at the campus, condemning the violent attack by masked persons on the students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Students from various organisations including UoM Researchers Organisations, Bahujan Vidyarthi Sangha, Students Federation of India, Dalit Vidyarthi Okkuta and All India Democratic Students Organisations staged a candlelight vigil at the main entrance of University of Mysore's Manasagangotri campus. During the protest, one of the attendants displayed a "Free Kashmir" placard, which sparked outrage.
Cases were registered by the Jayalakshmipuram Police for sedition and other offences.
Hemantha Kumar told Newskarnataka, “Once the police are done with their inquiry, we will take it forward and take the necessary steps. I will convene a meeting either on Monday or Tuesday and instruct the HODs to keep a tab on their respective students. The students will also be briefed about the dos and don’ts on the campus."
C Ramaswamy, Director of Students Welfare said, “Back in 2004-05, when I just took charge as Students Dean, 15 indisciplined students were sent to the then Governor Chaturvedi, who had issued an order to expel the students. However, keeping the interests of students in mind, the police officers and University authorities warned the students and left them. In this case, we need to thoroughly investigate and find out why such placards were on display during the protest."
CCTV cameras at main entrance non-functional
Considering the seriousness of the incident that occurred at the campus a few days ago, another shocking fact that has come to light is that the four to five CCTV cameras installed at the main entrance of the Manasagangotri campus are non-functional.
Speaking to Newskarnataka.com on condition of anonymity, a source from the University said, “Not one of the CCTV cameras is functional. One was found defunct a year and a half ago and though it was brought to the engineering section's attention, they have not taken any measures to rectify the issue. Hundreds of students make use of this entrance every day and for their safety, it is always better to have CCTV cameras. It is unfortunate that the authorities have failed to give maintain them."
When this was brought to the notice of the Vice-Chancellor, Kumar said, “It’s really unfortunate that these CCTV cameras have not been functioning for many months. This was not brought to my notice. I will speak to the concerned authorities and take measures to resolve the issue immediately. In a day or two, I will see that all defunct CCTV cameras across the Manasagangotri campus are functioning."
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