Hyd Uni relaxes punishment given to ABVP leader, who abused Dalit professor

The ABVP leader has now been suspended for 12 weeks as against the earlier one-year rustication, while a penalty of Rs 30,000 has been waived.
Hyd Uni relaxes punishment given to ABVP leader, who abused Dalit professor
Hyd Uni relaxes punishment given to ABVP leader, who abused Dalit professor

A fresh controversy is brewing at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) after the Executive Council reduced the quantum of punishment to an ABVP leader for abusing a Dalit professor on Facebook.

On February 1, Kaluram Palsaniya alias Karan Palsaniya, a PhD student was rusticated from the university for a year and was ordered to pay Rs 30,000 as penalty. This as he had abused Laximanarayana in a university community page on Facebook as the Dalit professor had asked a question about saffronistion and privatisation of education in a test paper.  

 A month later, however, the Executive Council modified the order after reviewing his appeal. It suspended Karan, who is ABVP’s national co-convenor, from its academic programme for 12 weeks. He was also suspended from the hostel for a period of two semesters, while the penalty of Rs 30,000 was waived.

Laximanarayana, the Dalit professor who was abused by Karan, hit out at the EC’s decision, accusing the BJP of arm-twisting the UoH administration to reduce the quantum of punishment. He said, “The EC members are full of BJP members. They might have been pressured by the BJP ministers. So, the decision is not surprising at all.”

After Karan’s allegations that the professor has been deviating from the syllabus and propagating his own ideas and ideology, the administration has decided to constitute a committee and formulate guidelines to look into the matter.

“The bigger threat is that the campus’ democracy is in danger. The EC has asked the academic committee to keep a review of the syllabus taught by the professors, the examples they cite etc. That is atrocious--a grave threat to the educational system in the country,” the professor remarked.

Slamming the BJP for upholding fascism, he said, “The surveillance on the professors, the contents they teach is nothing but fascism. The issue is not about University of Hyderabad anymore, this fascism will spread to other universities as well. So, there’s a dire need for the academicians across the country to resist these fascist attempts.”

“The EC has also asked the university administration to ban the practice of setting up help desks by different student organizations during the admissions. This is an onslaught on the campus democracy,” Laxminarayana said.

Condemning the university’s decision and accusing it of bias, ASA leader Dontha Prashanth said, “While we were not even found guilty, the university expelled us from hostels and went to great lengths to jeopardize our careers,” he alleged.

In 2015, Dontha Prashanth along with four other students including Rohith Vemula, who later committed suicide, were expelled from the hostel and had various other restrictions imposed on them. This after they allegedly assaulted the ABVP President on campus.

Prashanth said, “It is evident that the university is favouring a student belonging to the BJP.”

He further said, “Podile Apparao (Vice Chancellor) in political nexus with BJP has condoned punishment given to ABVP National Co-convenor, who abused a Dalit Professor in an atrocious manner. It becomes obvious when an accused under SC/ST PoA Act is still continuing as VC.”

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