1. Conversion row hits posh St Stephen’s College in Delhi involving Principal Valson Thampu

Conversion row hits posh St Stephen’s College in Delhi involving Principal Valson Thampu

St Stephen's College has revoked the suspension of an administrative officer, over a conversion row...

By: | New Delhi | Updated: December 18, 2014 12:53 PM

St Stephen’s College has revoked the suspension of an administrative officer, over a conversion row, after acting against him last week for alleged misconduct even as his plea challenging the order is pending before High Court.

The officer, Subhash Kumar Dash, had moved High Court challenging his suspension and accusing St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu of trying to convert him to Christianity.

“I revoke the suspension order served in order to make room for college Governing Body (GB) to take independent view of the matter pertaining to you (Dash). You shall, hence, rejoin duty with immediate effect,” Thampu said in an official communication to Dash yesterday.

The matter is scheduled to be discussed by the GB tomorrow.

Dash was suspended by Valson on charges of engaging in “gross misconduct” and sending derogatory and defamatory SMSes to the administration and to the college community under the influence of alcohol.

His petition in High Court, which was listed before Justice Hima Kohli, was yesterday transferred to another bench as the judge recused herself from hearing the matter since she was an alumna of St Stephen’s.

“The suspension has been revoked so that the GB can examine the issue with an unbiased perspective,” Thampu said.

However, he refused to comment on whether the revocation had come after Dash also sought an injunction against any action by the GB.

Meanwhile, Thampu has posted a series of SMSes exchanged between him, Dash and other members of the governing body on the college’s website.

“It does not take any special expertise to know that such SMSes cannot be sent by a man in his senses. To add insult to injury, he has now accused me of trying to convert him forcibly,” Thampu said.

“This is clearly an attempt to communalise the issue and to intimidate me. Communalism is utterly incompatible with the liberal, catholic ethos of St Stephen’s College, which shall, in no wise, be compromised,” he added.

Read Full Text of Principal’s Statement:

Now that the matter in a warped one-sided form has been taken to the public space-

Mr. Dash has been conducting himself in a pathetic fashion for some time. He sends out SMS-es the contents of which, as per his own admission to the Principal, he has no control over.  An SMS received from Mr. Deepak Mukarji, member of the Governing Body, after seeing the Hindustan Times report puts the matter in perspective. I quote- “Dash goes on “benders”. Drinks sporadically till he is senseless and then spews sms to one and all. The first time this happened I called him to check. He was so sloshed he could hardly speak. When he recovered, he called to apologies and sore ”never again”. He was on probation then.  Since then I have received SMS only twice. And he doesn’t take calls after sending out rubbish.  Happy to swear an affidavit to this if it helps, but don’t have specific date record. Also have changed mobiles.” Deepak

Some of the SMS-es sent to me and to others are quoted below-

SMS at 8. 34 pm

Sir, due to tremendous mental pressure and depression caused by dre. Satis. The bursar of college and the agony caused which I have informed to you in writing also. No actions has been initiated. My family has gone to extremely depression. The onus will be on college authority in case something happened. Because my family is upset with abnormal behaviour by my superior. I pray you to think and advise the authority. Thanks pray for the life of me and my family. Mr. dash and family.

To this I replied via SMS from Kerala on 1 November 2014, especially noticing that Mr. Dash has been sharing the SMS with others.

Subha, you must learn to compose yourself. While are a good worker, you tend to fly off the handle for no reason whatsoever. I hope you are not sending senseless emails to all and sundry. The Bursar is a statutory authority appointed by the GB. He is also in charge of the college in my absence. All courtesies will be extended to him. Principal

This evoked the following SMS response from Mr. Dash at 2. 20 pm on 1 November 2014

Sirs the confirmation has been received from hdfc that activation of gateway exists regarding online payment of teaching vacancies. Mr. Dash, AO. And also I was not at all expecting that with all humility I complained the harassment dohe in front of peons but instead me and my family were advised to continue with such harassment and respect the employee who is doing so. Thanks for the justice which is astonishing for an employee like me. AO.

In view of the fact that the AO was copying his SMS-es to people outside the college also, I sent him the following advice via SMS from Kerala at 3. 02 pm on 1 November 2014.

I didn’t say that. I disapprove your sending sms to anyone, complaining. If you have any grievance, it can be brought to me. You don’t know how people laugh at you because of your sms-es. I am advising you not to make yourself ridiculous. Principal.

Mr. Dash responsed as follows, via SMS, at 3.  27 pm on 1 November 2014

Sir sorry to submit that I have done such work for college including personal works for head of institution without thinking about family till midnight. You know well. I have never asked any favour or remuneration in this regard. AT the same time few people laughs  at my sms as they re compensated for it and few people also have compassion to me and my depressed family the way I have been harassed. I was not even now also assured that my life or my family disturbance will be taken care of. I only complained regarding misbehavior by the authority being the bursar. However I was directed to respect the harasser. I presume that asking justice from head regarding harassment will come as well planned weapons for me. Thanks for your advise. AO.

This was followed by yet another SMS by Mr. Dash at 9. 12 pm on 1 November 2014.

Sirs 2.5 crores was disinvested and others investment regarding scholarships was not  taken care of being government money and they were clapped in governing body rather they should have been issued show cause notice but the reason best known to you they went on vrs. While others are given memo instructed to follow ms Sabyia ji to be a laughing stock. You know very well that I don’t allow any one to misappropriate government money or personal money. I have informed you regarding this that mr. moon has done this but you chose to be silent and I was reprimanded for this to disclose. If I am ignorant to point out all this then pl let me know what shoul I do. It is my duty to inform all such misappropriation. Thanks. Copy kept for ecw.

In response these allegations, the Principal sent the following instruction via SMS to Mr. Dash  at 11.04 am on 2 November 2014.

Subha, the allegations you have levelled are very serious. You are hereby required to formulate the same in the form of a proper complaint, supported with documents and all relevant details. I propose to set up an inquiry into it. Treat this as urgent. Principal.

To this Mr. Dash responded at 11. 14 am on 2 November 2014, via SMS.

Yes, sir I have documents with me. I will abide by your instructions in this regard once I recover from mental tension for which I am visiting doctor tomorrow. AO.

This was followed by another SMS at 2. 38 pm on 2 November 2014

Sir with reference to my communications regarding advt to be published I have not received any approval I am compelled to inform regarding ad as I am not the authority to go ahead with ad. I am under mental pressure and therefor without approval I cannot go with ad since it involved financial implications. I confirmed regarding ad thinking that I will be allowed in writing but till now I have not received any communications in writing. The blame should not come to me as I am bedridden due to depression. Even though I am vising doctor still I serve for college.

Thanks. Sir,

Me and my family are so oppressed by you and if something happened to our families you are responsible for the consequences because we tried dto give financial irregularities but write to you that we should go to inform you but we were informed to shut our mouth. If something happened to me and my families you are responsible for this. I tried to inform you but  you choice to not to take my call beuase the reasons well known to you. God grae. AO.

In response the Principal instructed the AO as follows at 11. 03 pm on 2 November 2014.

You were instructed NOT to send any SMS to me. You are in willful defiance. You are once again strictly ordered not to send me SMS. Principal

Thereafter Mr. Dash addressed the following SMS at 11. 35 pm on 2 November 2014 to the Principal’s wife with copy to the Principal

Madam I am also facing the consequences since I open the financial irregularities of college. Instead I am victimized for this. Pl help me since me and my family are in distress. If something happened to me and my family the aggravating effect rest on the principal and dr. Satish kkumar. Mr. Dash and Ms. Alka.

The SMS continued-

Sorry to inform that you contacted me through message since u instructed me to look after your wife and married daughter and mr. Mathews families leaves behind my family and my ailing mother. Because you  want to take care of yourself and ghosts who helped you in allowed misappropriation of government money. Since I point out I M blamed to point out I am deployed to look out all dirty wirk for your daughter marriage. Tell me ia Any ao is instructed to do so such work. Copy kept for gb. Nhrc. Police commissioner. To inform that you cannot escape from this fact. You used my personal car without any payment for your daughter to go to beauty parlour. Mr das. Copy to gb, mhrc, eow and all members of family.

SMS received on 14 November 2014 at 9.04 pm

Sirs,  due to continued harassments by you and  others involved including your office staffs Iand my family  are constraint to be under extremely depression and to inform sir if anything happened to the onus and responsibilities goes to you. Dr. grace Valson. Dr. Sarh vason dr. Satish kumar. Mr. Deepak mukarji and other related to punishment without finding truth. I have pointed out the financial irregularities and I am facing action only because I pointed out irregular things and I should not have pointed out.  I again submit that if something happened to me and my families to your life you and your family are responsible for this because youwant us to go to certain extent. I pray for college and for you not to aggravate. Ao.


It does not take any special expertise to know that such SMS-es cannot be sent by a man in his senses.  To add insult to injury he has now accused the Principal of trying to convert him forcibly.  This is clearly an attempt to communalize the issue and to intimidate the Principal.  Communalism is utterly incompatible with the liberal, catholic ethos of St. Stephen’s College, which shall, in no wise, be compromised. It is a pity that the situation is being distorted out of recognition and, if the indication in Mr. Dash’s claims are right (which well be not the case), those encouraging the delinquent employee to walk the path of self–destruction through alcohol is an embarrassment to the College. The Chairman of the Governing Body has approved the action taken by the Principal.


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