The SC/ST/OBC cell of Jadavpur University, which met on Monday to discuss the steps that need to be taken against a teacher who has been accused of attacking a PhD student because of her caste, has adopted a resolution that says “the incident is a matter of inhuman act and is devastating for an academic institute”.
“The cell considered that the allegations against the (accused) teacher are serious in nature and demands strong judgement according to the law of the land,” reads the resolution, a copy of which is with The Telegraph.
The cell has recommended that the “alleged incidents” be reported to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, West Bengal Commission for Backward Classes and the Office of the Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, West Bengal, an official of the university said.
This newspaper reported on Tuesday that the cell had recommended that the teacher, an assistant professor in the international relations department, should remain suspended till an inquiry into the allegations was over.
The assistant professor has also been accused of not accepting a visually challenged student from the Scheduled Caste category in an MPhil programme under her guidance.
The cell’s resolution, which has been sent to JU pro-vice-chancellor Chiranjeeb Bhattacharya, who is helming JU in the absence of vice-chancellor Suranjan Das, says: “Considering the demand noted by the board of studies of the International Relations department to suspend the concerned teacher, the cell suggests the university to set up an enquiry commission with members of the judiciary in which representatives from SC, ST and differently able communities (from outside the university) should be there. The commission… to submit the final report at the earliest.”
Asked what actions the university will take on the basis of the SC/ST/OBC cell’s resolution, Bhattacharya said on Tuesday afternoon: “The report has not yet reached my office. I won’t comment.”
A week ago, Iman Kalyan Lahiri, head of the international relations department, had written to the VC that the assistant professor’s “response” to the allegation of the attack on the PhD scholar because of her caste “is a complete suppression of facts”.
“The response given by the teacher is necessarily factually wrong because she used certain words like ‘quota’ in the presence of the PRC (PhD research committee) members and again used certain words, not constitutionally accepted,” Lahiri’s letter said.
As for the call to send the allegations against the assistant professor to the national and state commissions, a JU official cell said: “These bodies were created to ensure justice for disadvantaged groups. So we thought, given the sensitive nature of the complaints, these alleged incidents must be reported to the commissions, along with the steps the university has taken so far. These forums might also help the university with suggestions on what needs to be done to justice for the victims.”