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Khalsa College principal, 2 others booked for abetting student’s suicide

Students protest, demand their suspension, arrest; teachers want FIR quashed, threaten to go on strike

punjab Updated: Apr 28, 2017 12:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
abettment to suicide,Khalsa College,Amritsar
Students holding protest at Khalsa College in Amritsar on Thursday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT Photo)

Police on Thursday booked Khalsa College principal Mehal Singh besides the registrar and a head of department for abetment to suicide a day after a student was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his hostel room.

Harpreet Singh, who hailed from Bathinda and was an eighth semester student in the agriculture department, was reportedly upset after being detained due to shortage of lectures. The principal, registrar Davinder Singh and agriculture department head Randeep Kaur Bal were booked on the complaint of the deceased’s father, Yadwinder Singh, said Amritsar deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Amarjit Singh Bajwa.

Hundreds of students gathered outside the main gate of the college in the morning and raised slogans against the college management, demanding suspension and arrest of the three booked officials. Although the management and police made efforts to pacify them, the protest was on till the filing of this report in the evening.

Students sitting on a dharna at Khalsa College on Thursday. ( Gurpreet Singh/HT Photo )

Yadwinder Singh, who was also sitting on a dharna during the day, said: “My son was upset as his lectures were short due to ill health. He had requested the management many times to adopt leniency, but it was not considered.”

The police confirmed they found an application written to the principal. The victim reportedly requested relaxation as his lectures were short due to some health issues. He had also attached a medical certificate with it. He was still detained.

Expressing grief over the suicide, Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC), however, condemned the FIR against the principal and two other officials.

An emergency meeting of the office-bearers expressed condolences to Harpreet’s family and stated he was a brilliant student and his loss of life was a great loss to the college.

Students interacting with police officials at Khalsa College on Thursday. ( Gurpreet Singh/HT Photo )

The KCGC office-bearers, led by honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, said the college officials had no personal enmity or grudge against the deceased and his name was on the list of the students whose percentage of lectures was less as per the rules and regulations of Guru Nanak Dev University.

“The FIR must be quashed immediately,” said Chhina in a press release.

The college staff and teachers threatened to go on strike if the “illegal” FIR was not cancelled. Principal Mehal Singh expressed his sympathy for Harpreet’s family, but said the management was not victimising any student as alleged by “vested interests”. “The students whose lectures are short are detained as per law and his (Harpreet Singh) name was among 164 students,” said the principal.

The case has been registered under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) at the Cantonment police station.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 20:14 IST