Punjabi University Suspends Professor Accused of Mental Harassment

PATIALA, INDIA – A professor at Punjabi University has been suspended after being accused of mental harassment that allegedly led to the death of a student.

Prof Surjit Singh was suspended with immediate effect on November 8, according to a communique issued from the office of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Arvind. The suspension comes after a group of students staged a protest outside the university demanding action against Singh.

Singh was facing a departmental chargesheet and given 15 days to submit a reply, which he did recently. However, his reply was found unsatisfactory and he was subsequently placed under suspension.

A two-member inquiry committee previously cleared Singh of any role in the student’s death, saying there was no proof to support the allegations. However, the committee did find Singh’s conduct to be below professional standards.

The student, Jashandeep Kaur, was a first-year student of the five-year integrated course in Punjabi. She died on September 13 at her house in Bathinda district. Her death sparked outrage among students and led to protests on campus.

Singh will be stationed at the university college in Ghanaur during his suspension. A departmental inquiry headed by retired district sessions judge VK Gupta will be conducted against him.

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