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HPU Violence Continues: Stone pelting in presence of police, 15 injured, 13 arrested

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SHIMLA- Bloody student clash at Himachal Pradesh University campus between two student outfits that had begun on October 2 continued on Monday despite deployment of heavy police/QRT force. Even presence of higher police officials including the Additional Director General Police AP Sadiki and Superintendent Shimla Police DW Negi couldn’t prevent fresh clashes.

Unfortunately, the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) team, which is on inspection of varsity for determination of grade and academic standards, also witnessed the tension between students.

Read/Photos: Bloody clash at HPU campus ahead of crucial NAAC team visit, 18 injured, 6 arrested

On Monday Morning, ABVP workers allegedly dragged two tribal students including the president of HPU Tribal Student Association Arun Rana and his friend out of a car and launched an assault in the presence of police. Two tribal students were going to receive the NAAC team when they were attacked at the Summerhill Chowk. Attackers hurled casteist comments with vulgar abuses and life-threats, injured Rana told Himachal Watcher over phone.

He also alleged that on September 29, 2016, tribal students had lodged a complaint at Summerhill Police Post regarding casteist commenting by ABVP activists.

Stone Pelting

This attack in the morning was followed by protests from both groups that turned into brawl and concluded with stone pelting near the Vice-Chancellor office in afternoon. About 13-15 students sustained injuries and created a bloody scene at the campus.

Four FIRs Lodged Since Saturday

About 13 students associated with SFI were arrested and cases were register under Sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 323 and 506 of IPC.

Meanwhile, SFI alleged that despite FIR registered by the attacked tribal students, no ABVP worker was arrested. Police had already arrested 10-12 SFI activists after initial clashes on Saturday night and Sunday. SFI has alleged one sided police action in the case.

So far, four FIRs including two on Saturday have been lodged. Both SFI and ABVP had lodged FIRs following violence on Saturday night.

Police Attitude Questionable

Considering the fact that NAAC team is on visit from October 3 to 6, Shimla Police officials didn’t seem much concerned with violence. As alleged by both ABVP and SFI, police force watched the brawl and violence like mute spectators . Earlier last year, when the students were protesting against massive fee hikes and poor implementation of RUSA, the SP, DW Negi, had unleashed QRT on students like hungry hounds. For about three months Section 144 was imposed at the campus to prevent further student protests. Now, when the NAAC team is at the varsity, a crucial visit on which future of varsity depends, SP Negi is silent. Armed students were seen flashing sharp-edged weapons since Sunday in the presence of police, which is surprising as well as questionable.

NAAC Team Visit Amid Violent Clashes

It is unfortunate for the varsity that during crucial four-day visit of NAAC team, students presented such an ugly image of campus environment, which is hardly acceptable. The NAAC team that had arrived at varsity on Monday carried out their inspection under heavy security. Entire varsity has been turned into a fortress with deployment of additional police and QRT forces like the varsity is located near LoC. Along with visiting various varsity facilities NAAC team interacted with the teaching and non-teaching staff and students to assess the facilities provided to them. NAAC team members did question the violence between students and expressed concern over its affect on academic environment.

Another considerable aspect of this violence is that it’s not ideological battle; rather it is taking a form of a vicious cycle of vengeance that will only bring more bloodshed. When the institute has become a hub of corruption, youth of Himachal should have united against administration. However, student organizations prefer to remain divided and shed blood of their own people.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Campus Watch

Himachal Shuts Down All Educational Institutes A Week After Re-Opening 

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Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutes closed again

Shimla-A week after re-opening for regular classes, the Himachal Pradesh Government had to shut down all government and private schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, engineering colleges and coaching institutes from 11th to 25th November 2020, for students, teaching and non-teaching staff amid alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting held on November 10, 2020. It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had re-opened the school for the students of 9th to 12th from November 2. However, during the past few days, hundreds of teachers and several students tested positive in various schools, especially in Mandi district.

Meanwhile, the unpreparedness of the state government came to light as the largest medical facility – IGMC Shimla- ran out of space in isolation wards for COVID-19 patients. It’s packed to full capacity. Reportedly, another dedicated COVID-19 hospital – DDU Shimla- was also running out of space. The government has also failed to establish make-shift hospitals, which it had been promising for the past couple of months. However, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been maintaining in media statements that the government was prepared for all eventualities.

Questions have also been raised over the quality of protective gear provided to health staff as several officials tested positive at a COVID-19 hospital in Mandi district.

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Nauni Varsity Session 2020-21: List of Selected Candidates for UG Courses Released

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UHF Nauni UG Course Selection list 2020-21

Solan: Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has released the college and discipline wise list of selected candidates, both for normal and self-financing seats for admission to BSc Horticulture, BSc Forestry and B Tech Biotechnology for academic session 2020-21. The list of selected candidates, college and discipline wise has been prepared on the basis of counselling proformas and the relevant reservation documents submitted by the candidates through email. 

The selected candidates have been advised to deposit the admission fee in the respective bank accounts of the colleges on any day between 9-12 November. Presently due to COVID, the concessional fee is being charged from the candidates. The candidates will have to send a copy of the bank receipt no/ screenshot of the fee deposited online on the email of the colleges mentioned in the notification. Non-deposit of the fee within the due date will result in the cancellation of the claim for admission.

The candidates are advised to go through the detailed notification uploaded on the university website. The concessional fee details, bank account numbers of respective colleges along with email address has been given in the list. In view of COVID, the classes of the students will be conducted through online mode till further orders.  

The selected candidates shall have to report to the dean of the concerned college along with original documents(list mentioned in the notification) as and when directed by the way of a notice on the university website.

 

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Himachal’s Schools/Colleges to Re-Open for Regular Classes from Today  

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Himachal's schools re-open for regular classes

Shimla-Schools in Himachal Pradesh are today re-opening for regular classes after remaining closed for over seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was taken to allow regular classes for the students of Class 9th to 12th  in the last meeting of the Cabinet. However, online classes would also continue. Regular classes would also be resumed in the colleges from today onwards.

The SOPs have also been issued in this regard. According to the SOPs, a written consent of parents to send their children to schools would be mandatory, and the students can opt to study online if they do not wish to attend the school physically.

Also, schools can’t enforce attendance on students. In case the number of students is more than that of the capacity of classrooms, then principals/headmasters have been given liberty to conduct classes on alternate days to maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to tighten grip on the state as eight deaths were reported on November 1, 2020. Over two dozen staff including Dr Janak Raj, MS, also tested positive at the IGMC Shimla. Earlier, 22 school teachers in Mandi district and Education Minister had also tested positive.

Till November 1, 2020 (9 PM), the official statistics of the state Health Department showed the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to be 22264, of which 2973. A total of 320 persons had lost their lives due to COVID-19. 

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