Empty liquor bottles found at UoP campus expose security lapse

Several empty liquor bottles found in a hall on the University of Pune (UoP) premises have raised concerns on the security of the campus. The hall situated at the university club building was rented out to a UoP employee for a marriage function on Wednesday, and it is ascertained that some guests carried alcohol with them and consumed it at the premise, which is a violation of the university’s policy.

Drinks break: Several empty alcohol bottles were found around the hall situated at the university club building yesterday morning. The hall was rented out to a UoP employee for a marriage function on Wednesday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

As an educational institute, the UoP strictly prohibits consumption or serving liquor on its campus. But, the worrying fact is that security guards stationed at the campus were blissfully unaware of the drinking party on Wednesday night.

When MiD DAY visited the spot the next morning, many empty alcohol bottles were found inside and outside the hall. M S Kedari, security officer at the UoP, said, “I was unaware of any such incident until it was brought to my notice in the afternoon since no one reported the violation to the security department. I have started investigations and will submit a detailed report of the incident to the registrar.”

According to a source, the drinking party continued after the reception, which wound up at 10 pm, till midnight. The revellers included around 10 people who were guests at the wedding. When asked how the night patrolling guards did not come across the illegal party, Kedari replied, “Since the hall is rented only to UoP employees, it is the responsibility of the concerned employee to make sure that no such wrongdoing occurs during or after the function. We [security department] do not interfere in such private functions.”

An elected body of UoP employees administers the hall at the university club. “According to the rules, liquor and smoking is strictly prohibited at the hall and we strictly follow the norms. Our records show that a staff member working at the press department of the UoP had rented the hall for a marriage function,” said Shivaji Uttekar, chairperson of the universityclub.

Chandrakant Shelke, who looks after maintenance of the hall, was present at the marriage function till 11 pm. “I was there till 11pm, and I did not witness any consumption of liquor at the function. I don’t know what happened in my absence.” Meanwhile, a worker, on condition of anonymity, said that consuming alcohol during functions is a routine practice here. “Non-vegetarian food and alcohol is not permitted at any function, but since no varsity authority comes here, liquor is served during functions.”

Guard killed
Eight months ago, the city was rocked with the murder of a security guard on the campus. The spot where security guard Pralhad Jogdandkar was shot dead by an unidentified youth in May is near the university club. The hall is also situated close to the ladies hostel, the competitive exam centre and health centre of the UoP.  

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