Security was tightened in and around the Panjab University (PU) campus and affiliated colleges in the union territory of Chandigarh on Wednesday as authorities and students geared up for student council elections to be held on Thursday.
The Chandigarh Police has also deployed ‘Anti-Gang Squads’ from Punjab Police and Haryana Police to supervise the student elections, a police spokesman said here.
The police is apprehending that gangsters from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana and youth with criminal background could come here to intimidate voters.
Nearly 2,000 security personnel will be deployed on the PU campus and affiliated colleges to ensure peaceful and smooth voting.
There are over 15,690 voters on PU campus and another 8,000 student voters in affiliated colleges in Chandigarh who can exercise their franchise.
Voting will begin on Thursday at 9.30 am and results are expected later in the afternoon.
On PU campus, there are nine candidates for the post of president.
The main student parties in the fray are Students for Society (SFS), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Ahkil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), PU Students Union (PUSU) and Students Organisation of India (SOI). There are other smaller groups also.
The affiliated colleges include Government College for Boys, Sector-11, DAV College, Sector-10, Sri Guru Gobind Singh (SGGS) College for Men, Sector-26, SGGS College for Women, Sector-26, S.D. College, Sector-32, Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector-45, Government College, Sector-46 and Government College Commerce & Business, Sector-50.
Security forces have taken out flag marches and conducted raids in PU hostels to ensure that no outsiders enter the campus. Several outsiders have been arrested from the campus in the past one week.
The campaigning, which ended on Tuesday, was rather low-key this year, mainly owing to the fallout of the violence in neighbouring Haryana following the conviction of rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, disgraced chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect.
The fate of the election on PU campus will be decided by departments like the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) which has 2,484 voters, University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) with 1,343 voters, Department of Law with 1,190 voters and Chemical Engineering Department with 780 voters.