Chandigarh: Today the chain fast, at the call given by Joint Action Committee, for Central University Status for Panjab University has completed one month. Nearly seven thousand people have visited the site of dharna during the last one month to express their solidarity. Nearly 250 teachers (that included deans, chairpersons and fellows), along with 85 students/ research scholars and 9 members of the technical staff have so far sat on the chain fast.
With the passage of every day the resentment against the political indifference of the state and central government is spreading, within and outside the campus, and new sections are extending their support to the ongoing agitation. Today even the lawyers from the High Court volunteered to sit on the chain fast as most of them are P.U. alumni and feel deeply hurt to find their former teachers sitting by the roadside in such a harsh weather to demand financial security for P.U as Punjab Government has failed to fulfill its promise of 40 per cent funding during the last one decade. JAC leadership is receiving calls from different departments expressing solidarity with the agitation along with the offer to sit on the fast through the summer vacation in case the politicians refuge to budge from their present position. To begin with a group of ten former students have decided to sit on the fast on May 10, 2008 as a token of respect for the agitating community on the campus.
Those who sat on the fast today were Prof. Akhtar Mahmood, Dr Dinesh Talwar, both Fellow Panjab University, Prof. Rupinder Tewari, Department of Bio-technology, Dr. Kewal Singh, Assistant Director Sports, Sh Ajay Kumar, a research scholar from the department of English.
In a separate statement PUTA president Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia condemned the recent violence on the campus. The peace on the campus for a healthy academic environment is a basic pre-requisite and should not be allowed to disturb at any cost, said Prof. Ahluwalia. At the same time PUTA condemns the burning of effigy of a respected colleague of UILS by a group of students yesterday. We should work together to uphold the dignity of teacher-taught relation and in no way let it be degraded to petty politics, said Prof Ahluwalia.