Panjab University campus tense after permission for 'left-leaning' seminar denied

03 March 2017, 06:00 PM
The campus of the Panjab University. (File Photo)
The campus of the Panjab University. (File Photo)

Tension prevailed on the Panjab University (PU) campus on Friday as left-leaning Students For Society (SFS) activists staged a demonstration after they were denied permission by the authorities to organise a seminar. 

SFS had proposed a seminar on the campus which was to be addressed by human rights activist and journalist Seema Azad. She, along with her husband, was arrested by the UP Police in 2010 after being charged with sedition for alleged Maoist links. They were later released on bail. 

Even as Seema was not allowed for the event, police took SFS president Damanpreet Singh into preventive custody so as to maintain law and order on the campus. 

However, SFS activists staged a protest outside the office of vice-chancellor, demanding they should be allowed to hold the event which was to be addressed by Seema, party members Arshdeep Singh said, adding police should immediately release Damanpreet. 

The SFS activists threatened to hold the event outside the office of the V-C even as rival ABVP opposed. 


On Thursday, activists of ABVP had staged a 'Tiranga Yatra' on the campus against the SFS for allegedly including Maoist extremists in the audience. 

"We will not allow Seema to enter the university," ABVP member Harmanjot Singh Gill said. "How can SFS dub army as rapist," he said. 

SFS members said they expect support from the authorities of PU for peacefully conducting the seminar. 

"When PU authorities allowed the ABVP to hold Tiranga Yatra, we expect them to cooperate with us too," SFS member Harman said. 

"It is surprising to see the name of Maoist leader Seema among the speakers in the seminar. The PU authorities have withdrawn the permission to SFS for the event," university syndicate member Subhash Sharma said. 

The stalemate over holding the seminar continued as SFS members were adamant to hold the event. 

Earlier, security was stepped up at the university to avoid any untoward incident in view of the SFS proposed event. 

Heavy police force has been deployed on the campus, officials said. Earlier on February 27, the echo of the violence in Delhi's Ramjas College was felt on campus of PU where activists of ABVP and rival Students For Society (SFS) clashed with each other. 

The incident took place when the ABVP activists were staging a protest against certain 'derogatory comments' allegedly made by some SFS activists against the security forces.

First Published: Friday, March 03, 2017 05:29 PM

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