Form panel to probe Maoist link allegations against professor, JNU Executive Council recommends

By: | Published: October 22, 2018 11:44 PM

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Executive Council has recommended the constitution of a fact-finding committee to look into the allegations against professor Archana Prasad that she engaged in activities linked to Maoists, said a member of the Executive Council.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Executive Council has recommended the constitution of a fact-finding committee to look into the allegations against professor Archana Prasad that she engaged in activities linked to Maoists, said a member of the Executive Council. Two women professors — Nandini Sundar from Delhi University and Archana Prasad from JNU — along with Maoists and others were booked by police in connection with the killing of a tribal man in naxal-affected Sukma district of Chhattisgarh in 2016.

Sources present at the EC meeting said two complaints were received against Prasad — one in 2016 asking what action was taken against her by the varsity following the registration of the FIR, and another from an NGO recently claiming she was engaged in activities linked to Maoists.

The vice-chancellor has been authorised to constitute the committee that will speak to Prasad and look into the allegations.
“In light of complaints from villagers from Bastar against Professor Archana Prasad, the JNU EC has decided to set up a fact-finding committee to ascertain the facts of the matter,” JNU Rector I and an EC member Chintamani Mahapatra told PTI, without divulging the details.

Meanwhile, another EC member claimed that several punitive actions were ordered against professors whose views are not in consonance with the administration. “These include cancellation of leaves, decline of financial grants to attend conferences and even denial of promotions to some professors,” said the member, requesting anonymity.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) also said that punitive measures were taken against many teachers, including those preventing them from their academic pursuits. “The administration also became a willing party in the harassment of a teacher based on the complaint of a private party, in effective defiance of a court order. Many teachers have been denied promotions for no reason other than the vindictive attitude of the administration towards the teachers,” the JNUTA said.

It also alleged the JNU administration of “illegitimately interfering” in the process of election of teachers’ representative to the Executive Council by changing the guidelines without any consultation with those who have to be represented.

“JNUTA strongly condemns such undemocratic and anti-teacher actions of the JNU administration. The teachers of JNU will continue to fight against this onslaught on the academic autonomy and democratic culture of JNU,” they said.

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