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CU nominations on College St

Nominations for student union polls on all six campuses of Calcutta University will have to be filed on the College Street campus, a move aimed at minimising chances of violence.

The CU syndicate on Tuesday decided to accept nominations for the polls on the College Street campus on January 6. Till last year the candidates used to file nominations on their respective campuses.

The heads of all 68 departments have been asked to be present on the College Street campus during the filing of nominations. The police have been asked to ensure that the process, usually marred with violence, passes off peacefully, said a syndicate member.

“There will be more intense vigil on the filing of nominations this year as it’s going to be held centrally. A centralised location will lead to better co-ordination with the cops,” said a university official.

Department-wise counters will be opened on the College Street campus to accept the nomination forms, the official said. “University officials will help the departmental heads supervise the process.”

The central division of Calcutta police, under whose jurisdiction falls the College Street campus, has been asked to mobilise adequate forces from the police stations under its control to prevent any untoward incident.

“There will be heavy police deployment. The cops will patrol the campus and act when required,” said a CU official.

Violence related to campus elections erupts mostly, apart from the poll day, on the day nominations are filed. Members of student organisations backed by ruling parties are often accused of preventing rivals from submitting their nomination forms.

In February, sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury of the Calcutta police special branch was gunned down during a clash related to the filing of nominations at Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach.

Many have opined that an effective way to scuttle chances of violence is to accept nominations online. The state government, too, suggested the measure in an advisory issued in September, but CU failed to introduce it apparently because of lack of preparations.

The nomination forms, the university has decided, can be downloaded online but have to be submitted manually.

A CU Teachers Association member, however, expressed doubt whether the move would serve its purpose. “The CU model cannot pre-empt violence as trouble mostly breaks out while the prospective candidates are on their way to the campus to file nomination.... The move will only result in disruption of classes as the prospective candidates and their supporters would waste a day coming to the College Street campus.”