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Overwhelming numbers want Punjabi University's errant teacher terminated: survey

HT Correspondent   Patiala, March 16, 2013
First Published: 19:21 IST(16/3/2013) | Last Updated: 19:23 IST(16/3/2013)

Students' struggle against the manhandling of an NSS volunteer and research scholar Harpreet Singh at the hands of Prof Gurjant Singh at the Punjabi University is getting stronger by the day.

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The incident had taken place on the night of the concluding dinner party of the South Asian Universities Festival or SAUFEST, while Harpreet was incharge of the dinner arrangements.

All the student organisations had come together and formed a collective front to fight for justice. The front had conducted a survey in the university on 'What should be the appropriate action against Prof Gurjant Singh?' Of the 1100 students who responded in the survey, nearly 84.36% of the students voted for the teacher's termination, whereas a meagre 8.28% voted for a written public apology. The student's front has realeased a joint statement asking for action to be taken based on the collective voice of the students as manifested in the survey.

Vice-chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh had instituted a five-member inquiry committee headed by dean academic affairs to look into the issue. But on the other hand, student leaders have alleged that most of the members of this committee belonged to Gurjant's camp, having had collaborated with him during PUTA elections. They also alleged that the university administration had violated the sanctity of the institution by calling in the police to tackle their peaceful protest.

It is worth mentioning that the victim and the eyewitnesses of the incident have already deposed before the inquiry committee.

Another research scholar Dr Taranjit Kaur has also submitted a detailed complaint of the teacher's misconduct and use of abusive language, insulting her publicly.

This is not the first time that Gurjant has landed in a soup owing to his erratic behaviour. Therefore, the students feel that the university administration should not lose time in taking hard action against him.

The student's front organised a peaceful protest, sporting black ribbons, in front of the library.

The front leaders said that if the university did not take appropriate and befitting action against the teacher, they would be left with a no other option but to wage a long-drawn struggle.

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