Students gathered at the Students’ Centre in Panjab University to submit a memorandum to Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal regarding the leftover PU funds with the government on Thursday.
Sukhbir visited the university to take part in the oath-taking ceremony of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council on Thursday.
Members of SOI allegedly got into a brawl with the students who wanted to raise the issue of funds with Sukhbir Singh Badal. One of the students said, “We were trying to submit the memorandum to the Deputy CM, but the ‘goons’ of SOI tried to stop us from doing so.”
As the students started fighting, two students – Hardik Nain and Gurjant Singh Malhi- were taken into custody by the UT police and were released later after being issuing a warning.
The students claimed that Punjab government had a 40 per cent share in the university’s funding, which is why the state government should provide around 120 crore to the university each year, instead of the fixed amount of Rs 20 crore.
The students wanted to submit the memorandum requesting for an increment in the amount of funds for PU. As funds frozen from the UGC, the university would soon not be able to pay salaries to its employees.
“There is a deficit of Rs 100 crore and if PU does not get the required funds, the authorities might resort to increasing the student fees and other charges. If the Punjab government can increase its funding for other universities, why cant it at least release the leftover funds for PU?” they argued.
SOI members, however, denied their involvement is the fight. Chandigarh president of SOI Vikramjit Singh alias Vicky Middukhera said, “These are mere allegations and we were not involved in any fight. For the first time ever, the deputy CM of Punjab came to the Panjab University and declared funds worth crores for the welfare of students. Other student parties should stop accusing us on baseless grounds and should look at the amount of work SOI is doing for the students.”