M A I N   N E W S

Kin of former PTU clerk block traffic
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 31
To press the authorities concerned for the arrest of Punjab Technical University Vice-Chancellor S.K. Salwan and Registrar M.S. Grewal, hundreds of family members, relatives and neighbours of Rajinder Kumar, former clerk with the PTU who committed suicide yesterday, today held a dharna and block traffic at Kapurthala Chowk with the body of the deceased beside them.

Rajinder Kumar had committed suicide on the PTU campus by consuming celphos tablets after he reportedly met some senior PTU officials.

Both Dr Salwan and Mr Grewal have been booked by the police under Section 306 of the IPC, but no arrest has been made so far.

Meanwhile, the body of the former PTU employee was cremated in the evening only after Mr Bhupinder Singh, SDM, assured the members of his family that a recommendation to the Punjab Government for a job for the widow of Rajinder Kumar on compassionate grounds would be made. The SDM also said the accused would be arrested as per merits of the case and arrears of Rajinder would be given to his family by the PTU authorities soon.

After completion of a post-mortem examination of the body, members of Rajinder’s family took it to their Jatpura residence, from where they headed for the cremation grounds at Harnamdaspura. But, as they reached Patel Chowk at around 12.15 pm they lay the body there and started protesting. Later, they shifted it to nearby Kapurthala Chowk.

The situation turned out to be volatile the moment anguished relatives announced that since no administration official had met them and since the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar had not been arrested, they would cremate the body at Kapurthala Chowk itself.

Congress MLA Raj Kumar Gupta also supported the demands of protesting relatives of Rajinder and criticised the administration for adopting a dilly-dallying approach on the issue of the arrest of the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar. Though DSP Harkanwal Singh Khakh and Teshildar Arvind Verma tried their best to pacify the protesters, they kept demanding that the promises should be made in a transparent manner.

The protesters, however, ended the protest after the SP(City-I) gave an assurance to them on their three major demands. The body of Rajinder was finally cremated at around 4 pm.

An inconsolable Prem Nath, father of the deceased, said his son had been a victim of “corrupt elements”. “His exposure of corruption in the university led to his death,” said a group of relatives.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said the entire case would be investigated and facts would be verified properly and any further action would be taken only after that. “We will also send Rajinder’s suicide note for a forensic examination at Chandigarh,” said Mr Ishwar Singh.

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