The University of Hyderabad (UoH) on Monday suspended two of its faculty members on the ground that they had been detained by police for more than 48 hours in March this year.
According to the University Registrar M Sudhakar, besides suspending the two faculty members-- K Y Ratnam and Thathagata Sengupta-- a notice has also been issued to them for not informing the university about their detention.
The Executive Council of the university, which met on Monday, took the decision to suspend them, he said.
"We do not know whether they (the two teaching faculty) were in police custody or judicial custody. The EC met today and took a decision to suspend them for being under detention for 48 hours. They were also issued notices for not informing about their detention officially to the University authorities," Sudhakar told PTI.
As per the rule, a government servant accused of crime, is liable to be suspended if he/she is under (either police or judicial) custody for more than 48 hours, another senior government official said.
UoH Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile, who had gone on a leave at the height of an agitation over the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula, had resumed office on March 23 amid protests from a section of students, who ransacked his official residence leading to tension on the campus. Twenty five students and two faculty members had been held in connection with ransacking and stone pelting on police personnel.
According to Sudhakar, the EC meeting was convened for the first time today after Podile resumed his office on March 23.
Meanwhile, condemning the suspension orders, the SC/ST Teachers' Forum of University of Hyderabad in a statement said the act is nothing but continuous "atrocity" against Dalits, particularly, Dr Ratnam.
"Section 17 of the SC/ST Atrocities Act clearly states that preventive action can be taken in case of an area prone to atrocities against those, who have committed an offence under this Act. In violation of this section, Prof Appa Rao was allowed by the state to return to the university, which led to unrest and arrest of Dalit students, attack on Dalit students when cooking food, arrest of Dr Ratnam and now the suspension order are all evidence of continuing atrocity that are a result of the violation of Section 17," the faculty body said.
The body demanded that Prof Appa Rao be "immediately suspended from duty and prevented from committing any further atrocity against Dalits on campus".