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GNLU student files FIR vs VC for discrimination after frisking

Gandinagar: High and dry?
Gandinagar: High and dry?

A GNLU Gandhinagar student on Tuesday lodged a police complaint against the law school’s vice chancellor and director Dr Bimal Patel, alleging caste-based discrimination after Patel had allegedly frisked and fined the student for carrying a cigarette packet on campus.

The third year GNLU student alleged in his 16 April first information report (FIR), a copy of which Legally India has seen in Gujarati, that he was frisked by Patel outside the college mess area on the night of 7 March, during GNLU’s annual fest Pentagram.

The complainant alleged in a written statement:

“I was leaving for my home … in front of mess Director Bimal N Patel, Dr […] and Dr. […] stopped us and asked where we were going. During that time the mess workers and other students were also standing over there. I gave my outpass to […] she further handed it over to Director Sir. [She] started checking my bag and found nothing objectionable. After that she asked Director Sir and wardens to check our pockets. Director Sir asked who among us [complainant’s name] was. I raised my hand. Director Sir came close to me and forcefully started frisking me. I was constantly asking the Director to stop this act. Director Sir found a box of cigarettes in my possession. I apologised the same for it then too Director Sir commented […].”

“Being caught with possession of cigarettes is against university rules and I am ready to pay the adequate penalty for same but Director Sir for such a small mistake shouldn’t have insulted me […].”

The complainant was accompanied by two classmates, who also made sworn statements in writing along substantially similar lines. One handed over cigarettes in his possession before he could be frisked.

On 8 March the complainant and one classmate received disciplinary letters from GNLU’s resident warden asking that they deposit a fine of Rs 2,500 each with the university, for having been found with cigarettes near the mess area.

A GNLU student who did not wish to be named told Legally India that the police had visited campus on 17 and 18 April. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kalol is investigating the matter, according to a report in the Times of India, which cited him as saying that the Gandhinagar police is yet to record Patel’s statement.

The incident allegedly happened during GNLU’s first inter college festival, Pentagram. According to several students faculty strictly patrolled the festival looking for drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol – which is illegal in Gujarat - on students by carrying out random body searches.

Patel did not respond to Legally India’s calls and phone messages seeking comments since Friday.

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