Punjab college students continue protest over suicide

Amritsar: Students today continued with their protest at Khalsa College here, demanding the arrest of the college principal, registrar and head of agriculture department over a student’s suicide.

The agitating students, who have been protesting since Wednesday, are demanding arrest of Principal Mehal Singh, Registrar Devender Singh and HoD, Agriculture Randeep Kaur Bal who were booked under IPC section 306 (abetment to suicide).

Harpreet Singh, a student of BSc (Agriculture) allegedly hanged himself from the ceiling fan in his hostel room on Wednesday. He was reportedly upset after being detained due to shortage of lectures.

The students today blocked all the entry gates leading to the college which invited sharp reaction from teachers who staged a massive parallel protest against the protesters for cordoning off the campus.

The students also blocked the entry of the teachers and staff members from the rear side of the college.

However, the situation was controlled after KCGC President Satyajit Singh Majithia and honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina reached out to the protesting teachers and pacified them.

“Some outsiders who are not even students are disrupting the academic atmosphere and are misleading our students. Who is advising them to block the entries of all the gates?” asked Satnam Singh, a senior faculty member.

The teachers also served an ultimatum to the protesting students to call off their protest or they will hold a massive demonstration against them on Monday.

Majithia and Chhina meanwhile appealed to the district administration to “stop being a mute spectator” to the “ugly” scene at the campus and restore normalcy.

Majithia said Harpreet was not given a roll number as his attendance was short.

“His name was in the list of 164 students whose attendance was short. This was as per the provisions of the GNDU and College rules. We all are in grief that this brilliant student has committed suicide and we express heartfelt condolences,” said Majithia adding that management was doing everything possible to reach out to students to convince them to end their protest as their genuine demands were being looked into.

Meanwhile, to ease tension due to the students’ protest following the suicide, Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) appointed Sukhmeen Kaur Bedi, a senior Professor and Dean (Academics) as Acting Principal of the Khalsa College.

Another senior faculty member and Dean (Sciences) M S Batra was appointed as Acting Registrar of the College and Professor Gurdev Singh as HoD of Agriculture Department.