Forces unavailable, AU drive to evict illegal residents halts for a day

With no police force made available, the Allahabad University (AU) administration had to suspend the drive to evict alleged illegal residents staying in its hostels on Friday.

Such an exercise, initiated on Thursday, had been taken up after a gap of about eight years. On Thursday, at least 37 illegal residents were forced to vacate their rooms in G N Jha hostel amid heavy police and tough resistance.

However, by late evening, the AU administration said the raids would resume from Saturday. AU Proctor, Prof Mata Amber Tiwari, said: "We have received communication from the Superintendent of Police (City) and Additional District Magistrate (City) that the force would be made available to us by 8 am on Saturday. We will finish the rooms left out in G N Jha hostel first and then take up Sir Sunder Lal Hostel. The exercise in P C Banerjee hostel, which was next in line after G N Jha, would be taken up on Monday."

Earlier in the day, the AU officials lamented that suspension of the drive had emboldened illegal residents, who had even issued threats to senior officials.

This morning, realising that there would be no raids, the inmates of P C Banerjee and some other hostels reached the Proctor's office and dared him to carry out the raids without police presence. "They told me that the police would not be allowed to enter the hostel premises next time. The momentum we had built to carry out eviction has been broken and this has emboldened all the illegal residents," said Prof Tiwari .

Prof Tiwari added that he also received a threat call from one of the alleged illegal resident, who had been involved in taking up petty contracts within the university and was staying in the hostel for the last 10 years. "He called me to say that the authorities `would reap rewards' for such unjustified action. I would be formally lodging a police complaint against him," he said.

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