The Jadavpur University authorities on Tuesday pulled down posters put up by a group of students alleging harassment and asserting the rights of female students to choose what to wear to class.
University officials who spoke off the record said the posters, “targeted towards a teacher”, were removed following complaints that it amounted to a “smear campaign” to malign him while the outcome of an inquiry into his alleged conduct is pending.
The 25-odd posters — which were put up outside the teacher’s room, in the canteen and along corridors of Aurobinda Bhavan, which houses the university’s administrative offices — were removed on a day JU’s Internal Complaints Committee held a hearing on the case.
A student deposed before the panel during the day in connection with the case.
A person close to the accused teacher told this newspaper that the teacher had lodged a complaint with the pro-vice-chancellor about the posters against him across the campus. The posters, the teacher has reportedly alleged, are part of a campaign against him that started in the second week of September.
“He (the accused teacher) feels that this (poster campaign) is unethical. He had informed university officials about the posters and requested them to take immediate steps,” said the person.
The Telegraph’s efforts to contact the accused teacher to verify the account were not successful.
As the complaint was apparently made to pro-VC Chiranjeeb Bhattacharjee, this newspaper tried to contact him for his reaction, but calls and text messages to him went unanswered on Tuesday.
Some of the posters asserted a woman’s right to wear what she wanted, while others asserted the students’ right to say “No”.
“She shouldn’t have to think of what to wear to class because of your behaviour. It’s you, not Her,” read a poster that had been there on a wall outside the accused teacher’s office till Monday.
Another one, that was pasted below the teacher’s nameplate, read: “Aapko lecture dena tha class mein, hamare kapdon pe nahi (You were supposed to give us lecture in class, not on our clothes).”
An official close to the teacher said the teacher was “upset” about the posters. “These posters were causing a lot of name-calling and rants. He found it extremely unfair as his case is still pending with the ICC,” the official said.
Students on Tuesday found that all the posters were gone.The name plate outside the teacher’s office was missing, too.
“We came to the department this morning and found that the posters are gone.... Our right to a silent protest is being taken away,” said a JU student.