The deadlock between the Punjabi University administration and students over the issue of alleged abusing and slapping of a research scholar by an assistant professor continued on Thursday with the student bodies staging a joint demonstration, demanding immediate dismissal of the accused teacher, Gurjant Singh.
On February 28 evening, Gurjant, a teacher in Punjabi department, allegedly slapped and abused Harpreet Singh, when the latter got late to accompanying the professor's wife to a dinner organised by the varsity.
A protest call was given by Punjabi University Research Scholar Association (PURSA), which received a good response. Activists of Student Federation of India, Sikh Student Federation, and Revolutionary Youth Organisation, besides a large number of students, participated in the dharna.
The protesters also burnt the effigy of the assistant professor, who was accused of such a behaviour twice in the past as well. The students also accused head of the Punjabi department Rajinder Pal Singh Brar of sheltering the accused teacher.
"We do not want such a teacher on the campus. The administration must take note of students' sentiments," demanded Tivashpreet Kaur, a research scholar.
PURSA president Inderjeet Singh said if the administration failed to take action against the teacher, they would intensify their struggle.
Meanwhile, the accused teacher gave a new twist to the controversy by submitting a complaint with the varsity authorities that Harpreet had used casteist remarks against him. Earlier, the Gurjant had said that he was ready to apologise, though he denied having abused or slapped the student.
Head of the Punjabi department was not available for comments.