Political activities on HP campuses may be banned

Participation of students and teachers in political activities on university campuses may be banned in Himachal Pradesh.

Updated: Aug 02, 2012, 22:50 PM IST

Shimla: Participation of students and teachers in political activities on university campuses may be banned in Himachal Pradesh.

An indication to this was today given by Chief Minister P K Dhumal who said his government is not averse to the proposal, citing incidents of violence on campuses.

"Growing incidents of violence is vitiating the academic atmosphere in university campuses. It is a matter of major concern for us and if violence at the Himachal University campus continues unabated, the government will have to think of immediate alternatives.

"One of these measures could be banning politics on the campus and we shall explore this option and take legal opinion, and also steps taken by other universities," he said, replying to a question at an interactive `Chopal` organised by Doordarshan, Shimla here.

The Chief Minister said that the university administration has also mooted a similar proposal and there have been interventions from the High Court also.

Dhumal said that during his recent visit to the University, he had personally appealed to the students and teachers to shun violence and help in restoring conducive academic environment.

"The violent incidents are on the rise despite efforts of the university authorities and some action is needed to curb violence," he said.

"Though the state government cannot directly take strong measures, but if the University administration suggests alternatives like banning politics and also indulgence of the teachers in the political activities, steps would be taken in consultation with legal experts," he said.

On the monkey menace in the state, Dhumal alleged that animal rights activists are creating hurdles in dealing with the menace.

"The farmers are the worst victims as their crops and fruits are being destroyed by monkeys. The government has launched a scheme to sterilise the monkeys as culling of the monkeys is being opposed by the NGOs and the High Court has also asked the government to look for other options," he said.

He said that the issue has been taken up with the central government and a request has been made to permit appointment of Rakhas (guards) under NREGA programme to deal with monkey menace in the villages.

On delay in completion of World Bank-funded Theog-Hatkoti road project for widening of the road for which contract had been awarded to a Chinese company, Dhumal said the government had given a final notice to the company for termination of the contract for failure to show progress, but the company had challenged the notice in the High Court.