Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 27:
As in every previous occasion in the past, authorities of Utkal University, the premier university of Odisha, met after the fresh eruption of violence in the campus on Friday and announced a slew of measures to restore normalcy in the campus on Sunday.
But there was no tangible decision on removing non-students from the campus, which is the root of much of the problem in the university.
Though the authorities know very well that the non-students are the ones that invariably incite violence in the campus, they shied away from even taking up the issue at the two-hor long meeting in an obvious attempt to make sure they do not rub the politicians on the wrong side.
While some of the professors present in the meeting did take up the issue, their bosses ensured that the issue was not discussed with the seriousness it deserved, sources privy to the deliberations at the meeting said.
As it happens each time after the university turns bloody, the authorities decided to ‘beef up security’ at all three entrance gates and continue the 24-hour police patrolling inside the campus. It was also decided to increase the height of the university boundary wall to prevent outsiders from entering the university.
While the height of 30 percent of the boundary wall has already been increased and wire-fenced, work is yet to be done in 70 percent of the wall. Authorities made a plan to dig 10-feet deep trenches at places where the boundary wall is broken to ensure that outsiders don’t get into the campus.
Besides, a decision was made to take greater precaution to ensure that the violence and chaos doesn’t affect the classes.
The lecturers and professors were seen worrying about their own safety in the two-hour long meeting presided by Vice Chancellor Ashok Kumar Das and attended by the registrar, PG Council Chairman, Professors and representatives of five non-teaching staff associations.
Worried lecturers brought up the issue of safeguarding their quarters as the violence takes a toll on their families who find the campus unsafe. They demanded separating the quarters and cordoning it off through a wall, as decided earlier.
The net result of the deliberations was that genuine visitors who come to the university are having a harrowing time at the entrance. Visitors are being thoroughly frisked and their identity cards checked by policemen before they are allowed in. They are being allowed to enter only through the main entrance by the side of NH 5 while the two other gates have been closed.
Instead of the usual 10, there are 20 policemen deployed in front of the Gopabandhu Men’s Hostel. Strict vigil is being kept on the assembly of 10 or more students at one place in the campus. A close eye is also being kept on the nearby slums, which hooligans often use as a hideout.