25 booked for flouting code

August 30, 2008: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: After a slew of disqualifications in the run up to DUSU elections, campaigning is now generating heat on and off the campus. FIRs have been lodged against 25 candidates — 18 from NSUI and ABVP — for defacement of public property.

While Delhi University (DU) authorities waited till August 27 to see any violation of code of conduct, the police swung into action and lodged FIRs under the Bengal Act which invites an imprisonment of one year or a penalty of Rs 50,000 to the guilty. If framed, their candidature can also be cancelled.

The student parties had started putting up printed posters in the city long before the campaigning actually started. Since DU had banned the use of printed posters, parties, mostly NSUI and ABVP, had been pasting surrogate posters with the photograph of the candidates.

‘‘We have lodged more than 15 FIRs in the past one month for defacing public property through posters. But we haven’t arrested anyone so far,’’ said DCP (north) Sagardeep Hooda. Another FIR has also been lodged at Lodhi Nagar police station.

ABVP confirmed that FIRs had been lodged against at least two of its candidates — Nupur Sharma, who is contesting for the post of president in DUSU elections and Vasu Rukhar, who is in the race for the post of vice-president. However, ABVP is alleging that NSUI is trying to use its political clout to disturb their campaigning. ‘‘We believe that the police are doing this under pressure from the Congress. They had even gone to Nupur Sharma’s house on Thursday night to arrest her but she was away for campaigning. Officials have been calling us to summon us to the police station or they would arrest us,’’ said Sriniwas, ABVP spokesperson. However, Hooda denied that police had gone to arrest Sharma.

NSUI also admitted that FIR has been lodged against at least one of the candidates.

‘‘I don’t know about the FIRs. But if the defacement by DUSU candidates is proved, they can even be disqualified from the elections,’’ said DU proctor Gurmeet Singh.

In another incident of alleged violation of code of conduct, All India Students’ Block (AISB) has alleged foul play by NSUI activists. Soni of Rajdhani College, who is contesting for the post of president under AISB banner, said that his party’s vice-president candidate, Kahkesha, was not allowed to submit the demand draft by NSUI workers. ‘‘We have lodged a written complaint with the proctor.’’

Amidst all these, DU authorities on Thursday sealed the DUSU office apprehending unfair practice.

According to university sources, this is a precautionary measure the university is taking to avoid violence inside the campus. 

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