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India: Scheduled Casts (SC) / Scheduled Tribes (ST) faculty resign from administrative duties

Sunday 10 April 2016, by siawi3


HYDERABAD, April 10, 2016
Updated: April 10, 2016 05:46 IST

Yunus Y. Lasania

They express displeasure at the ‘highly disturbing events’ that took place on the campus on March 22

In a fresh jolt to the University of Hyderabad (UoH) administration, the SC/ST faculty members with additional administrative duties have resigned from their positions. In a letter to the UoH Vice-Chancellor Prof. Appa Rao, the SC/ST Teachers Forum stated that the faculty were resigning as the former returned before the completion of the judicial probe into the death of research scholar Rohith Vemula. The letter, which was reportedly sent to the V-C on Friday evening, said that members of the SC/ST Teachers Forum had withdrawn their resignations on request from the interim V-C Prof. Periasamy in February. The forum also expressed its displeasure at the ‘highly disturbing events’ that took place in the campus on March 22, the day Prof. Rao resumed his duties.

It also charged that Dalit students were particularly targeted and arrested by the police on the same day, and that the two faculty members, who were trying to calm the students who were protesting at the V-C’s lodge that day, were unfairly arrested. “The university has not condemned their arrest and instead has filed false cases on them. All of this has led to a complete loss of faith in your ability to lead this university,” read the letter. When contacted, UoH spokesperson Prof. Vipin Srivastava confirmed that the letter was sent, and that the V-C had even responded to the forum through the convener. “The response given to convener is that he should request the teachers to continue in their positions. If anyone has any strong reasons, they can tender their resignations individually citing reasons for resigning, which will then be considered by the administration.” The forum also censured the V-C in its letter, stating that he should immediately step down from his post “in the larger interest of University of Hyderabad”.

Prior to this, SC/ST faculty members had submitted their resignations through the forum on January 21, four days after Rohith committed suicide. The forum then conditionally withdrew it, one of them being that Prof. Rao should not resume his duty as the V-C. However, Prof. Srivastava said that when the faculty members had submitted their resignations, they were not accepted.

“Back then, the Student Union and the JAC had met and requested Prof. Periasamy not to accept the resignations, among other demands. What transpired between them, I don’t know, but their resignations were not accepted by me, Prof. Periasamy and the V-C as well,” he said.

*The Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are official designations given to various groups of historically disadvantaged people in India.