Ravenshaw University Vice-Chancellor Ishan Kumar Patro and other officials, who were confined to a room by some students for nearly 13 hours, were freed by the police on Tuesday morning. The students had gheraoed them in protest against the cancellation of students’ union election.The university authorities had on Monday cancelled the election due to widespread unrest on the campus. Like last year, the authorities had decided to hold indirect election to the Students’ Council, which was opposed by some students.“While we were discussing the election issue, some students gheraoed us and did not allow anyone to come out of the room despite our repeated requests. They kept us confined to the room for about 13 hours and did not even allow the ladies to use the washroom,” the V-C said, adding that stringent action would be taken against the offenders.Expressing anguish over the conduct of the students, Prof. Patro indicated that students of the women’s hostel who stayed outside their hostel beyond 12 a.m. on Monday will be issued show-cause notices and their parents would also be intimated. “In the absence of a satisfactory reply, the hostel seats of the offenders will be cancelled,” Prof. Patro said“Although, these protesting students were creating a situation necessitating to declare sine die in the university, I am not going to upset the academic interests of 8,000 students”, the V-C said and added that a large section of the students was not interested in the election.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday asked the opposition leaders to accept their defeat in Lok Sabha elections instead of blaming the EVMs.He was replying to the resolution raised by the opposition last week and a challenge thrown by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jayant Patil to pass a resolution to conduct Assembly polls through ballot papers instead of electronic voting machines (EVM).In a reply to opposition leaders’ claim during the proceedings, Mr Fadnavis also rejected all the allegations of irregularities and graft against his colleagues. On the last day of Assembly session of the present government, and in his last speech, Mr. Fadnavis expressed confidence that he would be back after the elections in the same position.Mr. Patil reminded him that it is the people of the State who hold ultimate power to elect the government and said that he hopes they will vote for a better Chief Minister next time. “The opposition leaders must accept that they are defeated in the Lok Sabha elections due to their own deeds. The people of this country have rejected them and it is a bitter but important truth,” said Mr. Fadnavis.Recalling how he and his party too had fallen for a similar trap, Mr. Fadnavis said, “Someone had told me some years back that ballot papers with yellow colours were used as a part of bogus voting. We had gone to Bombay High Court and Supreme Court as well and we failed, because we refused to accept that we have been defeated by the people.”Mr. Fadnavis also referred to a challenge thrown by the Election Commission of India (ECI), where representatives of NCP and CPI (M) had attended. “Representatives of both the parties then had claimed that they were there to understand the procedure and not to challenge the EVMs,” he said.