Six days after stepping down as the Principal of the Kerala Law Academy, Lekshmi Nair filed a complaint with the police on Monday, alleging that students who had conducted a nearly month-long agitation against her had defamed her.
Addressed to the Director General of Police, Lekshmi Nair’s complaint alleged that the protests by 80-odd students of the Academy had cast her and other members of her family in a derogatory light.
Lekshmi Nair, who is also a prominent television anchor, wrote that several political leaders and leaders of student unions had “questioned her moral side” in many of their speeches.
Referring to herself as the former Principal of the academy, Lekshmi Nair added that comments in social media had made derogatory references to her personal life and that of her family’s.
“Several messages, trolls and posts are rampantly spread in the social medias which is seriously derogatory and which is affecting and questioning my moral side. There are also several photographs most of them are morphed and spread through this media which includes semi-nude photographs which seriously intrude upon the privacy of myself and my family members including my future daughter-in- law,” Lekshmi Nair wrote.
She also pointed out in her one-page letter that the agitation has caused a law and order issue, with clashes between the agitators and the police continuing.
However, Lekshmi Nair did not name any political leaders or leaders of student unions in her complaint, though leaders cutting across political parties were part of the protests. While SFI ended their strike last week following the management's assurance that Lekshmi Nair would step down, other student unions such as ABVP and KSU continued their protests.
Stating that she had sufficient proof in hand to prove violation of her privacy, Lekshmi Nair urged police officials to “take immediate legal action” under the purview of Section 509 of the IPC (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and other provisions of cyber laws.
The Kerala Law Academy controversy began in the aftermath of widespread agitations across private institutions in Kerala, over the death of 18-year-old engineering student Jishnu. Jishnu, a student of Thrissur’s Nehru College, had hung himself, after he was caught allegedly copying in an exam.
As allegations against irregularities of private college managements arose, students of the Law Academy too, joined the chorus, protesting against the policies of its Principal, Lekshmi Nair.
Alleging that the principal ran the college according to her whims and fancies and awarded internal marks to students close to her, the students went on to accuse Lekshmi Nair of discrimination against Dalit students.
Though Lekshmi Nair categorically denied all allegations in a news conference days after the controversy broke out, a sub-committee formed by the institute’s management found her guilty on several counts. Following this, Kerala University debarred Lekshmi from examination duties for the next five years.