Protesting faculty members of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) called off their relay strike temporarily on Saturday after the Vice-Chancellor of the university R.P Sharma apologized for subjecting a female faculty member from the North East to a full house search.
According to a report in The Hindu, the V-C also added that the committee established to inquire into the incident stands dismantled as the teachers had opposed the same stating it was “constituted unilaterally by the administration with prejudicial terms of reference.”
The faculty members of the university had gone on an indefinite relay hunger strike last week, to protest against “gender and racial discrimination” on Gracious Temsen, an associate professor of the varsity.
The teachers alleged that the associate professor, who belonged to one of the north-eastern states, was subjected to a search by the university security and police, based on a verbal complaint that there were 'illegal occupants' in her house.
Faculty members headed by University of Hyderabad Teachers Association (UHTA) had been demanding an unconditional apology from the university to Temsen for violating her privacy.
The strike had gathered momentum as teachers of various departments and student bodies also extended support to their cause.
"The protest was called off with the understanding that the admission regarding procedural lapses in searching Dr. Grace's home and regret for the same from the University is sincere. UHTA also insists that the University administration acts on rectifying such lapses that lead to violation of human rights, to say the least, at the earliest," the teacher's association said in a statement.
It also added that it "reiterates its stand against the use of coercive authority and the free and unwarranted entry of the police into campus. It is our deep conviction that critical thinking and democracy can only flourish in an atmosphere where the 'mind is without fear' and unconstrained by police norms and guidelines. We believe that internal mechanisms and dialogue are the best and most effective ways of resolving differences."