Chandigarh: Investors staged stiff opposition against the Gian Sagar Medical College take over by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Swaran Salaria on Monday, on the Chandigarh Patiala highway. They blocked the road by 10AM, forcing the police to divert traffic through Mohali and Ambala. The vociferous crowds claimed every brick of the institution was PACL funded, therefore, the thought of a third party taking over was out of question.
The protesters present were from the organization ‘Insaaf Ki Awaaz’ (a body of duped investors from the region) who had been cheated by the Rs 45,000-crore scam-hit ,Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL), whose main founder Nirmal Singh Bhangoo set up the college.
President of ‘Insaaf Di Awaaz’ organization, commenting on the state of affairs revealed that the Supreme Court in August last year ordered a PACL property attachment by the Central Bureau of Investigation and its transfer to the justice RM Lodha-led committee. This was ordered to facilitate investor pay offs by the committee, through liquidation of assets.
“However, several of Bhangoo’s properties including the college were not yet attached, despite the fact that there were several evidences to prove that the college was set up from PACL funds. It was later handed over to a charitable trust, whose chairman was Bhangoo’s son and later to his daughters,” he added.
“How can Bhangoo’s family claim that the college’s huge 100 acre campus came up on people’s donation? This is our own money. We request Punjab government to help in attaching the college properties to justice Lodha committee along with other unaccounted properties so that investors can be compensated,” said Mandeep Singh Forum’s General Secretary.
Evaluating the college property at approximately Rs 1,000 crore, Mr. Chandra Shekhar told the HT “We will not allow anyone to take over the college. As far as students are concerned, Punjab government should shift them to other colleges at the earliest.”
Despite a week having past since a Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh chaired meeting decided to shut down the college, the government is yet to issue a show cause notice. A hopeful faculty and students await the problem being resolved in the face of the continuing financial crunch.
According to insiders, the reason for the delay on the part of the government might be its hope of Salaria reviving the college.Sources however, feel that he has not been able to live upto expectations as April 23, has passed by, without him having cleared the GSMC faculty’s pending dues.
Another twist to the story comes with the Principal Dr. Krishan Vij and senior faculty – Dr AS Grover, Dr Gurvinder Pal and Dr Jai Krishan giving up their posts at the college this Sunday.
The revival of the college seems to have become ever so difficult, with the PACL protesters taking to the streets about the college take over.
A government take over is now being cited as the solution to the problem, as private managements would find it difficult to face the PACL investor pressures.