The Lucknow University vice chancellor’s (VC) denial to Anna Hazare’s meeting on the campus is all set to snowball into major controversy with teachers alleging that the withdrawal of permission has been taken under political pressure.
“We demand VC Prof MK Mishra to clarify whether he is receiving instructions from the Raj Bhawan or the state government. If the pressure is from Raj Bhawan, it means Congress doesn’t want such a meeting to take place in the university,” said Lucknow University Teachers Association (LUTA) secretary RB Singh .
Earlier, he said Congress leaders tried to block Anna’s anti-corruption campaign by levelling unnecessary allegations against his team and now they were not allowing Anna to interact with the public. “And if the pressure is coming from the state government, it means that BSP is opposed to Anna. However, the possibility of state government’s denial seems less because chief minister Mayawati has already made it clear that she supports Anna,” he added.
The university had earlier given permission to LUTA for organising an interactive session of students and teachers with Anna but later withdrew it citing local intelligence reports that the meeting may invite trouble. However, the Lucknow police chief DK Thakur told TOI that there were no adverse intelligence report and it has no objection on teachers’ organising the function.
An ugly scene was created on the campus on Wednesday morning when university proctorial board tried to block media persons from talking to students and teachers over the issue. Proctor prof UD Mishra even threatened to throw out media persons with the help of the police. The LUTA intervened and facilitated media-persons’ entry on the campus.
LUTA condemned the conduct of university proctorial board describing it as restriction on freedom of speech and expression. LUTA also said that it will hold the function at any other place, if the ban is not withdrawn by university.
The executive council members of the Lucknow university have also condemned VC’s stand over the issue. “University’s are known for giving birth to all ideological revolutions and social change. The temples of knowledge played an important role in India’s freedom struggle and various movements thereafter but our VC has converted university into a government department,” said Anil Singh , executive council member.
The VC was not available for comments. However, on his behalf, university spokesman Prof SK Dwivedi said “Permission has been denied because campus cannot accommodate the large crowd that Hazare may attract. To avoid any untoward incident, the VC decided to withdraw the permission.”
Significantly, LUTA had had also paid Rs 500 fee to the university for using auditorium having capacity of 400 for the interactive session. It has also asked V-C to allow function in the open, if hall was not available. The teachers had also booked the university guest house for Anna’s stay but it was also cancelled by the university administration. TOI