On a call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), teachers working in non-government affiliated colleges falling under the jurisdiction of the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) observed a strike for two periods and organized 'dharnas' in their respective campuses to protest against an FIR registered against 22 teachers during the anti-Khalsa University agitation in 2011.
At the local DAV College, teachers sat on a 'dharna' and raised slogans against the Khalsa College principal Daljit Singh and its management committee for failing to withdraw the FIR despite a written agreement between the panel and the Khalsa College Teachers Union, after which the three-month long peaceful agitation was withdrawn.
The protesting teachers flayed Daljit Singh for lodging "totally baseless and fabricated FIR" against the teachers and lambasted the state government and local police administration for initiating action on the basis of the FIR.
Addressing a gathering of teachers, PCCTU state executive member Prof HS Walia said that teachers would honour the verdict of the trial court and also the high court. However, he emphasised that the local police administration had registered the case against 22 teachers without conducting any impartial investigation.
Walia reminded that the agitation was spearheaded by the PCCTU to protest against the proposed conversion of Khalsa College, a government-aided institution, into a purely private entity as the conversion would have not only spoiled the career of more than 100 teachers but also diminished the heritage importance of the institution.
He further claimed that the protest actions were totally peaceful and held in a democratic way and no untoward incident was reported in any section of print and electronic media during the entire agitation.
Prof GS Sekhon, district president of PCCTU, condemned the principal for allegedly precipitating the matter and vitiating the academic atmosphere by not implementing the agreement reached between teacher representatives and Khalsa College managing committee on June 16, 2011, in which it was agreed upon that the FIR against teachers would be withdrawn.
Prof B B Yadav, state executive member, said that two-period strike would be held on July 22 apart from a 'dharna' in Amritsar by the state executive of the PCCTU on July 24.
Meanwhile, classes at Khalsa College functioned normally despite the strike call. No protest or dharna was held by the college teachers.