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1-member panel to probe JU caste slur

The varsity initially referred the complaint to its SC/ST/OBC cell as the complaint was about caste identity

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 05.02.23, 05:16 AM
Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University

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A teacher of Jadavpur University, who stands accused of attacking a PhD scholar on the basis of her caste identity, cannot be probed under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act because the student from Assam belongs to the OBC (Other Backward Class) category, the executive council of the university has decided.

The council adopted this resolution while deciding that a one-member judicial inquiry would be initiated to probe the complaint of casteist slur levelled against the teacher of the international relations department, said pro-vice-chancellor Chiranjeeb Bhattacahrya.


The head of the department,  Iman Kalyan Lahiri, had in a letter to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das earlier written that the accused teacher was “prejudicial to the student on the basis of her caste identity in public” and sought action against the teacher.

The university initially referred the complaint to the university’s SC/ST/OBC cell as the complaint was about caste identity.

The pro-VC said they took a decision against carrying out the probe under the SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocities Act “after consulting legal experts”.

“So, the probe will be carried out in light of this legal opinion. A retired judge will carry out the probe,” said pro-VC Bhattacharya.

In September, the PhD research committee (PRC) of the department whose members include teachers of the international relations department,  met to discuss the student’s plea that her supervisor — the accused teacher — be replaced  because she felt her research was not progressing at a desired pace.

At that meeting, the assistant professor allegedly attacked the student by referring to her caste, said a JU official.

The teacher attacked a PhD student “on the basis of her caste identity by referring to terms like quota”, says a resolution adopted by the board of studies of the department.

The PhD student, in a Facebook post on October 19, wrote: “I was hurt and disappointed when informed about this incident. I belong to the OBC category. However, I am pursuing my PhD under the general category.”

“But that doesn’t matter because even if I was admitted under the reserved category, no one has the right to attack my social background.”

The PhD scholar told Metro on Saturday: “I am happy about the judicial commission. I am sure justice will be served”.

The student in late December wrote to the National Commission for Backward Class about the complaints.

The BOS of the department has changed her supervisor and the head of the department has been appointed as her supervisor.

Last updated on 05.02.23, 05:16 AM

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