Punjabi University pensioners threaten fast unto death

Punjabi University pensioners threaten fast unto death

Ravneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 21

Punjabi University pensioners, most of them in their 70s and 80s, are yet again forced to protest for monthly pension benefits. The retirees have now decided to go on fast unto death if the university fails to credit their pension benefits for the month of April pending for over 21 days now.

Facing fund crunch since long, Punjabi University has been struggling to meet its expenditures. The university faced similar protests by pensioners in January this year after it failed to deposit pension amount of Rs 4.25 crore for the month of December till January 24. The retirees, including retired assistants, malis, peons, clerks and professors, then wrote to the Chief Minister’s Office.

Gurcharan Singh, a retired pensioner of the university, said: “We are holding a protest for two hours daily. We will organise fast unto death if the university fails to credit the pension for April soon”.

Sham Singh, president of the Punjabi University Retired Officers’ Welfare Association, said they were facing problems as it was the only source of livelihood of several pensioners.

Sansar Singh Janjua, another retired professor of the university, said: “We met the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and the finance officer several times in this regard, but to no avail.”

University Registrar Dr Manjit Singh Nijjar said: “Pensioners met us today. We assured them that the pending amount will be credited at the earliest.”

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