Students protest ‘casteist’ remark by college principal

JALANDHAR: Around 50 students of HMV College, belonging to the SC community, on Monday staged a protest here for alleged harassment by the college management in reference to the Post-Matric Scholarship scheme.

Students protest ‘casteist’ remark by college principal

Students of HMV College stage a protest in Jalandhar on Monday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

editorial@tribune.com

Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 18

Around 50 students of HMV College, belonging to the SC community, on Monday staged a protest here for alleged harassment by the college management in reference to the Post-Matric Scholarship scheme.

Students alleged that the principal used casteist remarks against them and also passed comments on their dress. Local leaders and groups from the SC community also joined the students during the protest. Around 12.30 pm, a group of students came out of the college and started shouting slogans against the management and the government. The students, accompanied by the leaders, sat on the road and blocked traffic for more than two hours.

Parents and relatives of the students also took part in the protest. The students said they were asked to deposit Rs13,000 as examination fee and were also told to deposit the rest amount in instalments. They said they had already paid Rs10,000. A BA second-year student said when they refused to pay the fees, the principal, Ajay Sareeen, lashed out at them and said when they could carry smartphones and wear new clothes, they should also pay the whole fees. “She also made casteist remarks against us,” said another student, who did not wish to be named.

Jassi Tallan, president of the Punjab Ravidas Tiger Force, said: “The harassment faced by students availing the PMS scheme isn’t tolerable at all. No one should be allowed to abuse minority-class students.”

Angered over the continuous demand of tuition fee by the college management, Jassi also said it was unacceptable to the community members to receive several warning from the college authorities. He along with Bahujan Front senior leaders and its president Jagjit Disha demanded immediate action against the principal and demanded registration of an FIR under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. 

The agitators also erected tents in front of the college gate. Jassi said students and teachers would not be allowed to enter the college on Tuesday. Principal Ajay Sareen couldn’t be contacted, despite several attempts.

The college principal, however, said the allegations made by the students were false and she didn’t make any casteist remark. The college management only asked the students to deposit university examination fee.

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