For the first time since students of Kerala Law Academy Law College in Kerala’s Thriuvananthapuram raised grave allegations against the college management, Principal Lekshmi Nair held a press meet to give her side of the story. Lekshmi, categorically denied allegations of favoritism and oppression.
In a tell-all press meet held in the capital city on Sunday morning, Lekshmi Nair said that she was shocked and upset about the 'false allegations' raised by the students. Though she responded to the queries of several media outlets on the issue, this is the first time an official statement was given from the part of the management.
She was accompanied by others from the management, including the hostel warden.
"I am upset that my students have raised such grave allegations, despite them being given complete freedom on campus. We are not unjust in terms of awarding attendance, like many students have alleged. In fact, we have the practice of giving extra attendance to those students who lose classes due to various events organized on campus," she said.
Saying that as the Principal, she has always allowed election campaigns to be held on campus, she said that she has permitted them irrespective of which student body raised the demand.
"However, we have the practice of holding classes till 11am even when there are protests or election campaigns scheduled. This is an arrangement that has been brought about after consultation with the students," she said.
Lekshmi Nair categorically denied allegations that she used abusive language while addressing students who showed dissent.
"I come from a respected and dignified family and I am also a media person. I would never use abusive language at all. I have a husband and children too, it is not in my nature to do something like that," Lekshmi argued.
She maintained that the management has not flouted any norms with regard to functioning of the college. The college holds proper affiliation and allegations of the management flouting norms was false, she said.
While refuting the allegations, Lekshmi also questioned the veracity of the allegations, that rose in the wake of protests against Nehru college.
"This is a sudden protest...these students never raised these points before. These protests are driven by student political parties to improve their own image as a student body, nothing else," Lekshmi argued.
Meanwhile, the press meet was disrupted by protests carried out by 2 ABVP activists.
After Lekshmi Nair furnished the stand of the management in the controversy, 2 ABVP activists walked up to the podium, placed an ABVP flag on the table and sat down to raise slogans against the college. They also waved a black flag to mark their protest.
Protests against Nehru Group of Institutions mounted following the suicide of an 18-year-old student Jishnu recently, the subsequent days saw students across the state belonging to a number of private colleges, raising allegations of misappropriation against the management.
Students of Kerala Law Academy Law College, of which celebrity cook and television anchor Lekshmi Nair is the Principal of, came under severe criticism, with the students alleging that they were denied freedom on campus. The allegations ranged from the Principal denying permission to hold protests against Jishnu’s death, to allegations of favoritism and lapses in awarding attendance and internal marks.