SHIMLA- Last night and following day, today was testing time for many HPU students. First the girls, who were sitting on chain hunger strike, were arrested at midnight along with other girls who were present with them. There was a lathicharge for which the only witnesses are the victims. Student leaders protested all day long, but they were arrested in the darkness of night only. Next morning, today, when the students came out on streets for mass arrest, they were not lathicharged, but trashed with such a brutality that witnesses shivered while they talked to us. Again, in afternoon, many students including research scholars were trashed by police. Near about 8-10 students sustained injuries including head injuries.
A witness recited the horrible site of watching 10-15 policemen trashing arrested students inside the buses. Some of the readers even messaged us what they witnessed. Here is a message which we received from an eyewitness:
An eyewitness account of what happened today in HPU campus (cane charge on research scholars). More than 500 students from university library started their peaceful march towards Summerhill Chowk when they were stopped near Chemistry Department by police officials. We were told the police that we ready to be arrested (mass arrest). Several students sat on the road to contribute towards mass arrest. What happened after this would shatter you and eliminate any respect from your heart for HP Police and administration, if you have any. While students were sitting on the road, the police and QRT lathicharged them. None of the students counteracted (mark my words). Why they were lathicharged when they were sitting quietly? No one except DSP and SP knows about it. Then their attention turned towards a large group of around 350 students who were standing on the side. The police personals literally slapped the boys, cane charged the girls and spoke foul language against them. I saw some police personals giving ‘Gaalis’ to the girls. Even DSP was seen speaking foul words. Many girls were weeping but police kept on beating them. Girls were running for help, police chased them and beat them up. The drama went on for another 5 minutes where glasses of library were also broken and some of the students got injured in the process.
I would like to ask the police personals: “Kya apni maa behen ko bhi aisi galiyan niklate ho tum? Apni maa behen ko b aise dando se marte ho tum? Sharam aani chahiye aisi ghatiya harkat karte hue; beating up innocent students as if they are terrorists. And the so called VC (I am not using the word honorable), don’t you have guts to face the students of your university? 700% fee hike? Hamare maa baap roz mehnat majdoori isliye nahi krte k tumhare lalchi pet ko bhar sakein. Aur Mr CM, elections k time to bahut bade bade vaade kiye the aapne. Inhi students ne vote kiya tha aapko. Bhulna mat election har 5 saal baad aate hain! It’s not a matter of a particular student organization now. Don’t let this movement die. Stand for yourself. Stand for your rights. You cannot let these corrupt people enjoy on your hard earned money. Standdd! It’s now or never!
HW also talked to ABVP members. The horror of police brutality reflected on their face while they talked about the gruesome site of brutal ‘lathicharge’ by police.
ABVP Protest in Front of DC Office, Shimla
The intensity was so high that ABVP decided to join SFI and fight shoulder to shoulder against massive fee hikes and Govt. repressive actions. ABVP also staged a protest in front of DC Office, Shimla today afternoon.
HW tried to contact many students leaders, but their phones were switched off because police snatched them to devoid them of making any communication.
All of this happened after the VC cried of being assaulted by students, which is a completely false statement. HW had posted a video clip in the previous article. According to the statement of VC, he was assaulted as soon as he got out of his car. Please, take a look at the video, which shows that VC himself came out of the car and walked back under the cover of police security. Students had just blocked the road so that they could make him face their questions, which the VC wasn’t attending otherwise.
No one touched the VC. There was a thick barricade of police which separated the VC from students who were trying to chase him before he fled from the campus. For last 20 days, the students were on chain hunger strike. Not only SFI, but ABVP members were also sitting on chain hunger strike. No one attended them, not even the Govt. The students had to block the road.
The Vice Chancellor’s statement says that he was pulled by hand and punched in the back. HW was there at the spot and saw all the action. It’s a characterless and cowardice act to use such a huge lie as an excuse to impose 144 in the campus and compel police to resort to gruesome lathicharge.
Deputy Mayor of Shimla, Tikender Panwar, on brutal lathicharge on students and fee hike at HPU
It’s a very sad day for a nation which acquired its freedom after many revolutionary lives were sacrificed. The Govt. machinery is used against those whom it should have protected. Take a look at the percentage of fee hikes at HPU and decide for yourself whether it’s anywhere near a justifiable decision?
The best thing about HPU, for which it received appreciation from many other states was its low fees, so students were able to get equal opportunity to access Govt. educational institutes.
What kind of ridiculous proposal is it? The fees are hiked by 1500% and even 2000% in some cases. What’s wrong with protesting against a decision which will cast a very negative impact on major portion of public? The parent pay the fees and HPU authorities have imposed a huge burden on them in just one go.
Another reader sent us the following message:
No TV channel highlighted this matter (HPU Campus). I don’t know the reasons behind this. As I belong to a low middle class family of HP, I know the value of money in Pahadi family. With low sources of income it’s really tough for parents to provide higher education, but still our parents move against all odds.
As we all know youth is the power of any nation, and it’s also my hearty desire to see strong, united youth of Himachal. I support the HPU students protest but to make this protest successful. Please stick with Kangra Mandi, Hamirpur constituencies also. Please try to highlight these news also.
We wonder why our Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, is silent on merciless repression of peaceful student protests? Why he isn’t bothered about the future of youth in the state? Why he isn’t moved by unrest among the students and their parents? How come he supported the proposal to hike fees by such high percentages?
HW is stunned by what it witnessed at HPU campus in last couple of days. We don’t claim ourselves journalists, but we do claim to have witnessed the real face of our own Govt. and our own police. We witnessed a conspiracy like we had seen in movies. The VC told a big lie, the newspapers and media published this lie and students were crushed for that. Some HPU officials filed their resignation by saying that they are not feeling safe and that they criticize the assault on the VC, which actually did not happened. It was made a legal point and good excuse to brutally trash and detain the students.
However, it was a big mistake on the part of the VC, the Govt. and HP Police, especially Shimla SP and DSPs. Now, all student organizations have joined hands, people like the deputy mayor of Shimla, Tikender Panwar has come out against the Govt. and their hideous act of thrashing and arresting students at night, abusing, humiliating research scholars. All these student wanted was a relief from ridiculously hiked fees.
HW appeal to people to react and support thousands of students and their burdened parents in their fight against highly corrupt system. Let’s not tolerate, hence, encourage bullying attitude of our own Govt.
Nauni varsity student to represent India in International Kickboxing championship in Argentina
Solan: While the youth of Himachal Pradesh is becoming infamous for the sudden surge in drug addiction it is witnessing currently, there are those who are bringing laurels to the State.
Lokesh Bhanot, a local from Solan district and a student of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is all set to represent the country in the World Kickboxing Championship to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 5-10, 2018. The World Kickboxing Federation is organizing the championship, it was informed by the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.
A fourth-year student of B Sc Forestry at the University’s College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Bhanot had bagged a bronze medal in the senior category (90-100 kg) in the National Kickboxing Championship held at Patna in 2016 and a Gold Medal in the 65-75 kg category at the National Championship held at Ghaziabad in 2012-13.
In addition, Bhanot has won several medals at the state and district level championships in different weight categories, said the PRO.
Hailing from Solan, Bhanot had previously represented India in Italy in 2013 where he became a black belt in the sport. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship in Sudan and Brazil, but could not participate due to his exams.
Not only has Bhanot excelled as a player, but in 2017 also became a World Kickboxing Federation accredited International referee in the sport by clearing the official exam. He is also an accredited national referee.
Bhanot credits his parents, coach and college teachers, and friends for their constant support for his success. The university has also recognized his achievements and awarded him with Outstanding Student and Sportsperson award at the University and College level.
While congratulating Bhanot for bringing laurels to the university and the College, Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has been encouraging sporting activities along with academics.
He added that this achievement will also motivate other students of the university. Dr PC Sharma, Dean of COH&F and faculty also congratulated Bhanot for his sporting achievements.
A pack of lies behind Viral Video of Sanjauli College
Shimla: Politics is a science but not for Indian ideological groups. The political parties lay more emphasis on cheap sentimental tricks or false propaganda, especially through the social media. However, the right wing has taken the concept of opportunistic manipulations of facts to a new level.
They have sensed the weakness of the media to fall easily and quickly to sensational news. The media publish hurriedly and it creates a noise in which facts struggle to be seen or heard.
The most recent and quite an ugly example was presented at the Centre of Excellence, Government Degree College Sanjauli.
A video of a quarrel between students appeared on the social media claiming it took place between two student organizations, Student Federation of India (SFI) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the Sanjauli College. Within no time, it was on news websites. Some national Hindi dailies also covered it with the same claim.
By Thursday, ABVP claimed that some hostel students were allegedly attacked by students of left-wing ideology. By this statement, ABVP suggested that it was not involved in the clash directly but fought for the suspended students.
As a contrast to this statement, in the video, one student is seen being attacked by a group of about 20-25 students.
The video was not fake, and the brawl did take place inside the campus of the college.
Himachal Watcher had too published a report based on initial reports received from our sources including some media person. They also repeated more or less the same story. One of the dailies said the violence had broken out over the banner of a student organization, which was baseless.
ABVP even held a protest on Thursday to revoke the suspension of the students involved in the brawl. It alleged that some faculty members abused, slapped, kicked, and pushed them out of the office when they tried to reach the Principal to submit a memorandum against the one-sided action.
The ABVP, in its press statement issued on Thursday, called it an ‘aggressive protest’ that compelled the college administration to yield to its demand of revoking the suspension.
About 27 students took part in this ‘aggressive protest’, as shown in the picture below:
ABVP repeated the same allegations when HW reached its leaders. It said the college took one-sided action against some specific students while the left-wing supporters were spared.
The college revoked the suspension, which the ABVP termed as their victory.
After receiving critical comments from the readers and students, HW today talked to all concerned parties including the Principal, CB Mehta, Shimla Police, the injured student (red shirt), ABVP and SFI leaders.
Except for the ABVP, no one, not even the victim or eyewitnesses, told HW that it was a clash between ABVP and SFI or an assault by SFI on hostelers. The victim himself told HW that the incident had no relation to student politics or student organizations.
It turned out that this victim student who was attacked is a national level volleyball player, who has represented Himachal several times.
On July 31, I was sitting with my friends inside the campus when a group of students tried to assault one of the friends. I was not aware of the pre-existing grudges between these students but I intervened peacefully and tried to protect my friend,
the victim said.
However, I became the fresh target of the group, who thrashed me badly. I was punched and kicked repeatedly until I got back on my feet and retaliated,
I was left alone as my friends disappeared from the scene,
he said adding,
I am neither a goon nor do I belong to any student organization. I am mostly occupied by my daily basketball practice. But the video has casted a negetive impression not only on my senior players but anyone who saw it. The media too circulated the video with the pack of lies told to them.
The Principal, when asked about the matter, said,
The brawl was not associated with any of the organizations. Moreover, as the Principle, all of them were only students for me. However, some of the suspended students might have included those associated with ABVP. The protest and the allegations of the ABVP against the faculty members were most likely an effort to revoke the suspension of the students.
When asked about revoking the suspension of the students, he replied,
We did not revoke the suspension of the students due to a pressure from the organization or the protest but after speaking to their parents and receiving written apology regarding the violence,
As per the Police Station, Lakkar Bazaar, where the students were taken for questioning following the brawl, refuted the claim that the two parties decided to compromise. A complaint has been filed against the involved students, the police said.
HW also talked to SFI leaders, who termed it a false propaganda to defame student politics.
SFI has recently begun its protest over the demand of reviving direct elections to the Students Central Association, which were banned in 2014. Prior to the ban, the students always supported and elected SFI as their representative and ABVP had been facing defeat in the elections,
said an SFI leader adding,
It is a deliberate manipulation to defame the student politics, thus, give a reason to prevent the revival of the direct elections to the SCA.
SFI also shared screenshots of a post shared by ABVP on its Facebook page with alleged false information blaming the violence as hooliganism created by SFI.
The worst hit of the alleged false propaganda is the victim student, and the media owes him an apology. As per the account given by him, he had just tried to protect his friend and was dragged into this brawl, which was given a political colour.
He was worried that his mother would be in great distress if she came across this video. This is why HW has refrained from mentioning the name of the victim.
Shimla based startup to manufacture Nauni varsity’s spinach pasta
Solan: Soon people of the country will be able to cherish Pasta, which will not only satisfy their taste buds but also helps to keep them healthy. As part of its technology transfer initiative, the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has sold its two nutrient-rich pasta variants to ‘La Himalayan’ – a Shimla based startup.
It was informed today by Suchet Attri, the Public Relation Officer, UHF, Nauni.
He further informed that the two variants- Plain Pasta and Spinach Pasta, score high on the nutrient value as compared to normal pasta. These pasta variants are based on Semolina (Suji), which is easy to digest as compared to pasta based on refined flour (Maida). The spinach variant is rich in Iron and Zinc and will be nutritionally rich besides improving the ability to fight diseases.
The University’s Food Science and Technology Department has developed the two variants of this nutrient-rich pasta under the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Post Harvest Engineering and Technology. Initially, the University carried out a survey where it was found that youngsters were more attracted towards instant foods, which at times lead to digestion-related ailments, Attri said.
For over six years, the University scientists conducted various research trials, which led to the development of these pasta variants. The department also conducted pilot testing of the products, he said.
A Shimla based startup, which had approached the university’s Incubator Center for expertise regarding cold storage, showed a keen interest in the two pasta variants.
Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has tied up with a company to manufacture the pasta variants.
The company has already deposited a sum of Rs 1 lakh with the university. For the next one year, the university will supply 20 quintals of pasta while the cost of raw materials will be borne by the company. In addition, it will also pay Rs 10 kg as making charges and Rs 2,000 as machine depreciation charges per month to the university. Thereafter the product will be manufactured by the company.
The company will also undertake the task of packaging and labelling along with nutritional profiling of the products. The university’s name will feature in the product details.
This is a part of the technology transfer initiative through which the technologies developed by the university is made available to the industry for commercial exploitation,
said Dr Sharma.
He added that efforts will be made to transfer more such technologies developed by the university to the people and the industry.
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