Srinagar: In a significant development, the Punjab Police Saturday booked the chancellor of Desh Bhagat University (DBU) for allegedly duping students who had enrolled in the four-year nursing course.
The issue had already come under scrutiny after the forceful handling of protesting students, many of whom hailed from Kashmir.
These students had been demanding Police intervention against the varsity for offering nursing courses without the necessary approvals from regulatory bodies including the Punjab Nursing Council.
According to an FIR, the Punjab Police have named several individuals in connection with this case.
The accused include chancellor Zora Singh, his relative Tejinder Kaur, university vice-president Harshdeep Singh, H K Sidhu, security in-charge Darshan Singh, and seven others who have been identified along with half a dozen unnamed individuals.
They have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 427 (mischief causing damage), 506 (criminal intimidation), 148 (rioting), and 149 (unlawful assembly).
The varsity authorities had instructed hostel boarders, primarily students from Kashmir, to vacate the premises.
This decision was made amidst growing uncertainty about the transfer of admissions to another college within the DBU campus. The university had already suspended classwork due to ongoing student protests.
The root of this unfolding crisis can be traced back to a dispute that has engulfed DBU.
Nursing students who enrolled for the 2020 academic session found themselves in a state of despair. They allege that their registrations were covertly shifted to an unapproved college within the DBU campus, leading to widespread protests and a shocking police cane charge.
Several female students were left injured and unconscious during the incident, with disturbing videos of the Police action spreading rapidly on social media platforms.
The hostel boarders, primarily female students from Kashmir, on Saturday evening, said that they left for their respective homes.
"We were asked to stay in the hostel at our own risk. Given the circumstances, it was too risky to remain in the hostel, so we chose to return home," a female student said.
Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti applauded the Punjab government's actions in this matter, saying, "Relieved that FIRs have finally been registered against officials of Desh Bhagat University and hope that the issues faced by students will be resolved at the earliest. Thank you @BhagwantMann ji for taking this up."