Two months after the Pune City Police introduced a set of prohibitory orders aimed at maintaining a peaceful environment within Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), the plan has been rescinded.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), formulated as the university's response to the November campus violence, faced strong opposition from students and unions. Section 144 was enforced, police presence increased, and further student gatherings and protests were virtually halted.
Most student groups deemed the draft SOP rules as a direct infringement on their democratic right to peaceful dissent.
A release by the university administration stated that the proposed 'SOP' has been put on hold in the Monday meeting. Rather than creating SOPs, emphasis was placed on solving problems through discussion, it added.
The decision was made during the January 8 stakeholders' meeting, the third such meeting, with earlier sessions held on November 18 and December 20.
This meeting followd clashes between student groups on the campus. One altercation involved members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Students' Federation of India (SFI), resulting in injuries to at least five students. Subsequently, objectionable graffiti depicting Prime Minister Narendra Modi was discovered on the walls of hostel no. 8. This led to protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) city unit, resulting in injuries to four students from the left-leaning group New Socialist Alternative.