From Our Correspondent
AMRITSAR : The elevation of Amritsar's Khalsa College
to a private university has been deferred by Punjab
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who said here on
April 3 that the
postponement is for “time being”.
The postponement has been done, says sources, to ward
off widespread criticism by the Punjab Pradesh Congress
Committee (PPCC), the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’
Union (PCCTU) and state-holders who allege that the move
is aimed at grabbing of prime land owned by the Khalsa College.
The college trust owns about 300 acres of prime land in
Announcing the postponement the chief minister directed
the Deputy Commissioner K S Pannu to intervene in the
matter and to sort out the misunderstanding between teachers and the college management.
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President
Amarinder Singh who has launched a tirade against the
SAD-BJP government -- particularly the Badals -- warned against grabbing of
Khalsa College land and converting the college into a
In a statement issued here on April 3, Amarinder alleged
that that this was a clear ploy by the Badals and the
in-laws of Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to grab the historic
Asserting that the move is clearly aimed at grabbing the
historic institution, he said the Khalsa Charitable
Trust, running the college, had already inducted a lot of members from the
Badal and Majithia families to have “absolute control
over its functioning”. He also condemned the registration of
criminal cases against the faculty members of the
college, who were opposing the proposed conversion.
Meanwhile lauding Badal's announcement, the Punjab and
Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU), which held
its protest on the Lawrence Road decided to defer the proposed move to
boycott university examinations.
Earlier, a teachers’ delegation met Badal, who was in
the town for a programme. He clarified that the decision on the issue had been delayed for
holding deliberations in the Cabinet. “We will hold
discussions with Sikh scholars and all stakeholders before taking any step in
this direction. No haphazard decision will be taken over
this sensitive issue. For the time being, the decision has
been postponed,” he said.
About the registration of cases and slapping of house
vacation notices on some of the agitating teachers by
the management, Badal said the Amritsar district magistrate had been
asked to solve the matter amicably. “Interests of the
teachers will be protected and no teacher will be forced to leave
official houses allotted to them,” he said.
Pannu said he would inquire into the alleged complaints
submitted by the Principals of Khalsa Society-run
educational institutions and the grounds under which the teachers
had been served house eviction notices. “I will talk to
representatives from both teachers as well as the management side before
submitting my report to the government,” he said.
On the other hand, Dr Daljit Singh, Principal, Khalsa
College, while showing the pictures of his forcible
confinement by teachers, decried the undesirable and offensive words
used by them.
The teachers, who have been booked in the case, have
applied for an anticipatory bail and the district court
has fixed April 8 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
Meanwhile, the PCCTU, at its meeting, resolved to launch
‘Save Khalsa College’ campaign by mobilising all the
segments of society and stakeholders, including scholars, teachers,
students, alumni, social workers, landowners and even
Later, its PCCTU activists met Rural Development
Minister Ranjit S Brahmpura and Education Minister SS