Madras University is at the eye of yet another controversy now with a French foreign student reportedly studying at the political science department being allegedly physically assaulted by Universityâ€™s non-teaching staff during a seminar. The incident is reported to have happened on Tuesday morning. Other attendees at the seminar however refute that he was assualted, but say that he was only escorted out for interrupting the event.
Students protesting outside VC's office
Jonas Anton Pulendrarasa, who is reportedly a second year student of International Affairs course, was attending a seminar on disaster management and a discussion on the Chennai floods. During the discussion, the French student reportedly asked a question to one of the panelists. According to an eye-witness Satish Lakshmanan, a former University student and attendee at the seminar, non-teaching staff at the University attacked him and pushed him out of the seminar hall after he questioned the panelist. â€œHe usually wears shorts and a shirt, they said that he was not a student and pushed him out. Senior University officials including the Controller of Examinations were standing there and it happened in front of them," said Lakshmanan.
The seminar at which the incident reportedly happened
Here are two videos, you can hear from Jonas Anton himself as to how he was allegedly assaulted by the staff.
The political science department at the Madras University has been at the centre of several controversies in the recent past, with students and professors protesting against the University management over various issues.
Jonas and another student protesting outside the VC's office
Students have assembled outside the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University to lodge a complaint against University officials for the alleged assault. The student, who is a French national, is also reportedly planning to lodge a complaint at the French embassy.
However, speaking to The News Minute, former Head of Department of Defence at the Madras University, Gopalji Malviya, who was the keynote speaker at the seminar said that the student was not assaulted and only escorted out for creating trouble. "This is being instigated by two professors at the Madras University. They are trying to create trouble unnecessarily. It was not a Q and A session, so when he interrupted he was asked to leave. I did not see him being assaulted," said Professor Malviya.