THE PROTESTING students of Punjabi University, Patiala, called off their agitation on Friday after a negotiated settlement with the university authorities.
According to the negotiated terms, the entry time for girls’ hostels was extended from 8 pm to 9 pm. “The girls entering their hostels between 9 pm and 10 pm, however, would have to mark their presence in the register to be maintained for this purpose, instead of submitting any application, mentioning the exact time and reason, etc. for their late entry. They, nevertheless, won’t be charged any late entry fee for this. Other rules and norms being followed, nonetheless, would remain in force as they were at the moment,” a press release issued by the Punjabi University’s public relations department stated. “The university will also provide bus service to the girls to drop them at the library at 9 pm and bring them back at 11 pm. With this, the students have decided to call off their dharna, thus bringing normalcy to the prevailing tense situation on the campus,” it added.
Various other demands raised by the protesting students were also accepted by the varsity authorities. Akash, a student of fourth year mechanical engineering, said, “The university has also assured us that the new hostel will come up next session for research scholars. Various other long-pending demands of the students were also accepted. But, the issue of action against Provost Nishan Singh remains unresolved.”
Calling it a “partial victory” for the students, Sandeep, a student of first year Department of Laws, said, “It can be termed as a partial victory. Although we have lifted our dharna from outside the V-C’s office, the girls are still protesting outside the Amrita Shergill and Silver Jubilee girls’ hostels. They are mainly protesting against the lawlessness prevailing on the campus. We shall hold discussions with them tomorrow. If they want to continue their protest, we shall extend our full support.”
A demand charter and a demand-wise acceptance were jointly signed by the leaders of the protesting student organisations and University’s Dean of Students Welfare, Tara Singh. “Demands raised by students were accepted and they have called off their protest,” he told Chandigarh Newsline.
Dr Manjit Singh, Registrar, Punjabi University, said, “An amicable settlement was reached today and the students called off their strike. All the other protests, including the one outside girls’ hostels, were only the offshoot of the main protest outside the V-C’s office. Once the main protest is called off, I believe that all the other protests will also end automatically. I will get it checked once again.”
Talking about the students’ demand of taking action against Provost Nishan Singh, Dr Manjit Singh said, “We have already asked the commission earlier constituted on September 19 to look into the issue of Nishan Singh.”