Chandigarh,21 Apr:Today on the 15th day of the Chain Fast at the call given by Joint Action Committee, constituted of teachers, students and technical staff, seven persons sat on the fast. There were three teachers, Dr Sukhdev Singh, department of Punjabi and General Sectretary, Punjabi Sahit Academy, Dr Krishan Mohan, department of Geography, and Dr V.K. Alankar of the department of Sanskrit. Among the students were Akam and Sukhdev from the department of Punjabi.
From today technical staff of Panjab University has also joined the chain fast to demand central university status for P.U. Preet Singh, President P.U. Lab Technical Staff Association and Ajay Bhardwaj, executive member of the Association sat on the chain fast. In the meanwhile some other unions of the employees are also giving a serious thought to join the ongoing agitation led by JAC.
In the meanwhile public support from various organizations of Punjab has started pouring in support of central university status for P.U. In a written communication to the Coordinator JAC, Dr Sarabjit Singh, General Secretary, Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Regd) has said that the demand for central university status for P.U. is not only timely but also most appropriate, and Lekhak Sabha fully endorses it. Similarly Dr Sukhdev Singh, General Secretary, Punajbi Sahit Academy not only extended support to the agitating teachers and students of the campus but also sat on the chain fast today. Dr Sukhdev Singh was shocked to read an article in a section of a vernacular press in which it was accused that Panjab University has lost love for Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat. These are irresponsible statements aiming at personal promotion, and have nothing to do with the facts. Dr Sukhdev Singh regretted that such people would not hesitate even to stroke a communal fire in order to meet their personal agenda.
Had there been no playing of dirty politics Panjab University would have been made Central University long back, said Prof. Manjit Singh, Coordinator, JAC. What more proof do we need for the central status to P.U. when Vice President of India is the Chancellor of P.U and it is made by the Act of Parliament. And now P.U has been asked to implement 27 per cent OBC quota by the Centre, at par with other centrally funded institutions, and following directions from the Centre P.U. has already decided to implement 6 per cent quota of OBC, said Prof. Singh.
We are still waiting for the positive response from the Punjab Government, said Prof A.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman, JAC. In response to a question that in case Punjab Government refuses to budge, would you withdraw your demand for the central university status, Prof. Ahluwalia candidly said No.