Arrested student not in official team: Panjab University

Chandigarh, Feb 19 (IANS) The Panjab University (PU) Friday said that its law student Nitin Jindal, who was arrested in Boston on charges of molestation while on a college trip, was not part of the university’s official delegation sent to the US.

The PU also constituted a committee Friday to look into the issue.

Jindal, a student of University Institute of Law Studies (UILS), went to the US to participate in the 56th session of Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) held in Boston city Feb 11-14.

He was arrested following a complaint of molestation by a local resident there but released on bail Wednesday after he submitted a guarantee of $2500.

However, police confiscated his passport and visa documents and asked him not to leave the country till April 6, when the next date of hearing is slated.

‘The UILS, in order to promote excellence among its students, decided four years back to send a delegation of students to HNMUN conference in the US. The students are selected by a committee after considering academic merits and extra-curricular activities,’ the clarification stated.

‘This year also a delegation of 23 students was selected after following the due procedure of selection, but out of 23 students only 21 students got visa. This was the only official delegation of the UILS. Nitin Jindal’s name was not in this list and we do not know who sponsored his trip,’ it added.

Jindal, who hails from Bathinda town in Punjab, is currently staying with his cousin in Boston.

The university’s dean of students welfare, Naval Kishore, said: ‘We have not received any official confirmation about any arrest of our student in Boston. We have come to know about it only through media reports. But we cannot rely on these reports. Therefore, we have constituted a committee which will look into this matter and verify its details.’

‘If our student is found guilty, we will certainly take appropriate action against him. But right now, it is too early to comment,’ he added.

This year, the PU officially sent 21 students to participate in the HNMUN but the arrested student was among 25 others who had applied online in their individual capacity.

‘Nitin Jindal was not part of our official group. The committee will also verify on what grounds the HNMUN had given him clearance as he did not carry the supporting document from the PU,’ said a senior official of the university, requesting not to be named.

A student, Parampreet Bajwa, who was part of the official PU group, said on his return home Thursday: ‘We had a party Saturday night (last week) at Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers where we were staying. After the party we all went to our rooms but in the wee hours of Sunday the local police, accompanied with a girl (complainant) rounded up all Indian students for an identification parade’.

‘The girl pointed her finger towards Jindal and he was immediately arrested by the police. Nobody allowed us to contact him after that,’ Bajwa said.

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