March 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Quit or face action, CM tells VC
Patiala, March 9
He said the government was also seeking legal opinion on dissolving the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) as had been done with the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board (PSSSB).
Addressing a press conference at the residence of District Congress Committee (Urban) president Ved Prakash Gupta here, the Chief Minister said as the VC had lost the confidence of students and teachers, he should resign. He said it was unfortunate that a person holding such a high position had been charged with moral turpitude and faced a case of attempt to murder.
Capt Amarinder Singh said this had lowered the image of the university. He said both teachers as well as students had been demoralised by the current happenings in the institution. However, when asked point blank why the government was not throwing out the VC, the Chief Minister said: “There are some considerations. I cannot tell you everything”.
Members of the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) led by Dr N S Atri and three other executive members also met the Chief Minister on the occasion and demanded that Dr Ahluwalia be immediately removed from his post to restore confidence among students, teachers, employees and parents in particular.
The deputationists handed over a memorandum citing various omissions and commissions committed by the VC during his three-year tenure and urged for a timebound independent inquiry into the charges.
It urged the Chief Minister to withdraw the powers of the VC till his ouster with regard to conducting interviews, taking policy-decisions and proposing to hold a Syndicate meeting to “victimise” teachers working for his ouster. Later, Dr Atri told mediapersons that the Chief Minister, when briefed about threats to members of the Joint Action Committee, directed senior police officers to ensure security on the campus.
Speaking on the issue of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), the Chief Minister said the government was in the process of finding a legal remedy to the issue. He said Advocate-General Harbhagwan Singh had been asked to look into the matter.
Later, the Chief Minister addressed a public gathering at a local marriage palace where he said Patiala town would be made an industrial centre. He said the problem of unemployment as well as regularising outer colonies would be taken up immediately. Others present on the occasion were Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, Finance Minister Lal Singh, former MP Sant Ram Singla and senior leader Vishnu Sharma.
In a separate statement Akali Dal (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann today demanded immediate ouster of Dr Ahluwalia, saying he had no moral grounds to remain head of the institution after being accused of indecent behaviour.
Additional Sessions Judge P.S. Virk here today issued notice to the district police for March 11 following filing of an anticipatory bail application by Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor J.S. Ahluwalia in an attempt to murder case.
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