Monday, 30th October 2017

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Sec. 144 for Patna University election

Violence feared during the December 5 elections and after counting of votes

By Roshan Kumar in Patna
  • Published 5.12.18, 12:07 AM
  • Updated 5.12.18, 12:07 AM
  • 2 mins read
Last lap: Students hand out election pamphlets to girls walking out of Magadh Mahila College on Monday. Manoj Kumar

The district administration has clamped Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) at 17 places (educational institutions), apprehending violence during polling for the Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu) elections and counting of votes.

The votes will be counted at Patna Science College. Patna Sadar sub-divisional officer (SDO) Suharsh Bhagat issued the order for clamping Section 144 of CrPC at the university.

Sources said the district administration apprehends that during the election and after the counting of votes, the university is likely to witness a clash between the winning and the losing parties. During the campaigning for the Pusu polls, the university witnessed group clashes.

On November 29, Chhatra JDU leader and former Pusu president Divyanshu Bhardwaj was attacked by some Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members near Patna Women’s College. Similarly, on Friday night, there was a clash between Chhatra JDU members and Jan Adhikar Chhatra Parishad (JACP), the students’ wing of Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav’s party.

On Monday evening, ABVP members pelted stones on the vehicles of JDU national president and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s key strategist, Prashant Kishor, when he had gone to meet PU vice-chancellor Rash Bihari Prasad Singh at his residence.

As per prohibitory orders, there will be restrictions on the assembly of five or more than five persons at a place within 100m of the polling stations. Similarly, there will be restrictions of any procession or demonstration at polling stations and counting centres. According to Section 144 of the CrPC, there will be restriction on the use and carrying of any arms, explosives or any other lethal weapon during election and counting of votes. As per prohibitory orders issued by the SDO, the use of loudspeakers by the any students’ association in elections will be prohibited.

Patna University too has put a ban on victory processions. Patna University dean education and chief election officer Khagendra Kumar said: “The university administration has banned victory processions after the counting of votes is completed on the Patna Science College campus.” The election is being held after a gap of 10 months.

Around 20,230 voters will exercise their franchise in the students’ union elections selecting 29 candidates, which includes five central panel members and 24 college counsellors.

In the elections, around 118 candidates are in the fray from 29 posts. The Patna University administration has set up 46 booths with a maximum of eight booths at Magadh Mahila College. The number of booths has been decided according to the number of voters in each constituency.