Over 500 students of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, blocked the road outside the college raising slogans, protesting against the alleged dictatorial behaviour of principal Charanjit Kaur Mahal on Tuesday.
This outburst came after a 21-year-old student of final year of Bachelors in Arts Ritu Paswan tried to commit suicide after she got a notice from the college stating that her name has been struck off the college rolls.
ABOUT THE CASE
Along with Paswan, 13 more students of BA final year got the same notice for taking more than three days’ leave.
Requesting anonymity, a student said that one month ago, the college suddenly increased the fee and demanded Rs 3,500 from the students, saying that it was an order from Panjab University.
“Announcement was also made that name of the student taking leave for consecutively three days or more will be struck off from the college and they have to take re-admission by depositing the entire fee again,” the girl added.
Another student said that the college was not allowing leave even for genuine reasons. “They were neither listening to our parents’ request nor accepting our medical certificates,” she said.
Paswan said that she was shocked to get the notice for taking just three holidays in a month. “A day before, I begged the principal not to take such a harsh action to which she replied that she will kick me out,” she said, adding, under depression she decided to commit suicide by jumping into a canal near Dugri Bridge but a friend deterred her.
She belongs to an economically weaker section of the society. “My parents work as household helps to earn the daily bread. Even I cook food at nearby houses in the morning before coming to the college to pay my college fee,” she said.
On Tuesday, when students and some parents turned up to talk to the principal, first she refused and later misbehaved with them
Shubi Jain, a student who recently got married, was not allowed to take leave even for her marriage and today she became a target of inappropriate personal comments by the college principal. Due to which her husband and in-laws also joined the protesting students, demanding action against the principal.
“My daughter is even attending college after having a fracture in her leg.
She has to climb the stairs to the fourth floor to attend lectures. I am sitting here for over four hours with her x-ray reports to a request for leave, but the principal is paying no heed,” mother of the student sitting outside the principal office rued.
Some students of commerce, as well as science streams, were threatened by their teachers against joining the protest and were locked in the classes.
Youth leaders of political parties joined the protest and RS Bhullar, ACP also intervened to solve the matter. He requested the protesters to talk to the principal and the students were also shifted from the road to on the campus.
After an hour, ADCP Kuldeep Sharma arrived on the campus and managed to call the principal out from her office. “College authorities have given one week time to resolve the matter. No case has been registered so far,” Sharma said.After over four hours of protest, principal turned up for just two minutes and said that she will review the problems of the students.
While interacting with the media Mahal said that as per PU norms, 75% attendance is compulsory to take the exam.
“We informed the students to cover up their attendance by issuing a notice to this effect. I have never misbehaved with the students,” she said. Mahal however, denying that any student made a suicide attempt.
STUDENTS WRITE TO COLLEGE PRESIDENT
Students later signed a letter highlighting the problems being faced by them addressed to the college president.
Some of the problems cited were a rude behaviour of principal, no medical facilities in college, students physically assaulted, abusive language used for parents and students.
They also demanded that college should retain the students whose name has been struck off the rolls.
The college management has declared a two-day holiday for students. The faculty, however, will be working to review the matter.