Lucknow University: Police lathi-charge students protesting against hostel allotment; admin claims students took them as hostage

By Staff Reporter

Students of Lucknow University were lathi-charged by the Police on Tuesday after their protests against the faulty hostel allotment system got out of hand. The police have arrested nine students and lodged a case against at least 100 students. The University has been facing a lot of heat for the past couple of weeks after the administration decided to hike the hostel fee of self-financed courses up to six times, a decision which was taken back in next couple of days seeing the protest from every side.

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On Tuesday morning, University administration started allocating Acharya Narendra Dev Hostel to the students without putting the list of qualified students online because of which many students had to return empty-handed because they did not know of their eligibility for the same.

Around 3 in the evening, student leaders and activists reached the Registrar office to discuss the same. The grievance could not be resolved at the moment, so students reached the vice-chancellor office to protest against the same.

Protest outside the VC’s office turned serious when VC Professor SP Singh and other university officials could not come out of their office. University officials accused the protesting students keeping them as hostage until the matter of allotment process was resolved and tweeted their grievance and the complaint filed with the police to the Chief Minister’s Office on the evening of August 1.

Around 15 past midnight, police reached the campus with heavy force and started charging at the students. Moreover, police arrested around nine students and lodged FIR against 100 students including Vinay Vikram Singh, Prabhat Singh. Vipul Balian, Manish, Ashish Mishra and Pooja Shukla.

University’s chief proctor Prof. Vinod Singh wrote a complaint to Hasanganj Kotwali, in which he accused students of “being drunk” while protesting outside the VC office. Student’s were also accused of being accompanied by outsiders, a charge which students have refused.

Complainant Vinod Singh refused to talk to us, but Spokesperson NK Pandey told, “Who talks to a mob? They were not willing to talk to us. When police asked us for giving permission to lathi-charge, we did not tell them to do so. But we said that do whatever seems fit and legal.”

When questioned Pandey about why he referred to the incident as a ‘hostage situation’, he said, “They were not ready to talk. It is clear that they were keeping us hostage.”