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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

PAU stand-off continues; protesting students lock Thapar Hall

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, August 27, 2013
First Published: 18:46 IST(27/8/2013) | Last Updated: 18:49 IST(27/8/2013)

Amid heavy police deployment, tension prevailed on the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus on Tuesday with the agitating students locking up the rooms of the Thapar Hall - the main administrative block of the varsity.

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The tension started brewing between the administration and the students, when the later tried to enter some classrooms to make students boycott classes. A few teachers were deployed outside the classrooms to thwart the entry of protesters.
Sources said, the varsity administration had issued strict  instructions to teachers to take classes even if there were two or three students.

When PAU Student Association (PAUSA) members tried to enter the classrooms forcibly, heated arguments were exchanged. Outside the Basic Science main hall, the students had an altercation with the cops as well.

A large number of cops have been deployed on the campus.

Later, the students organized a rally on the Ferozepur-Ludhiana road and locked the Gate No 2 of the varsity.

The protesters thereafter locked the main Thapar Hall around noon and did not allow any movement from the main gate. This building has all offices of all the senior officials of the PAU, including that of the vice-chancellor. The employees were seen exchanging the routine official files from the windows of the building. The vice-chancellor, BS Dhillon, was not in his office and arrived at around 5 pm.

The students were more angry because of the varsity authorities putting a PAUSA leader, Kirandeep Kaur, on conduct probation, alleging that she was forcing the girls to attend the agitation.

“Whatever the administration wants they can do. We advise them to put all of us on conduct probation. The vice-chancellor is claiming he was ready for talks, but do you think, putting up our fellow leader on conduct probation was a sign of talk or end the strike,” PAUSA vice-president Karanbir Singh said.

Later, in the evening, the vice-chancellor also invited the students for talks and the meeting was still on when the report was filed.

Teachers at receiving end

The varsity teachers are the worst sufferers amid tussle between the administration and the students.

“The students don't want to come to classes, whereas the administration was pressuring us to take classes. The situation has put teachers in an awkward situation,” said a teacher.

The teachers were also criticising the PAU Teachers Association (PAUTA) for not clarifying its stand on the stand-off. The PAUTA is playing as a puppet in the hands of the administration, a few teachers alleged.

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