A 24-year-old law student was suspended from the Ernakulam Law College allegedly after he complained to the police that one of his professors had insulted him on the basis of caste. The third-year student was suspended on charges of verbally abusing a Professor.
Vaisakh DS, studying in the undergraduate law programme at Ernakulam Law College, was suspended from the college till the enquiry against him is completed. The college authorities have also registered a police complaint against him on 19 December.
According to the suspension order, Vaisakh is being punished for allegedly using filthy language against the teacher.
However, Vaishakh also registered a complaint against one of his professors, Assistant Professor Giri Shankar, for allegedly insulting him in public on the basis of caste.
“The incident happened on 16th December, during the art fest Nayam. When the fest concluded this professor criticised students and spoke against girls and boys dancing together at the concluding event. Along with many other students, we questioned him. Since I was the first one to react, he shouted at me saying, ‘You belong to SC/ST category and you are studying here and staying in the hostel out of the mercy of the government and people like me’,” Vaisakh told The News Minute.
Vaisakh added that the professor loudly repeated these words three times in front of thousands of students.
“That is when many came to know that I belong to a tribal community, and they asked me what facilities I get. But I am not ashamed of being a tribal, why should I? The government is providing me facilities that I deserve and it is my right to get them. So, he cannot say those words,” he added.
Vaisakh said that he was pained by the words his professor used against him. He said that he therefore returned to his home in Thiruvananthapuram on the night of December 16, and returned to Ernakulam on the morning of December 19, when he filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police.
“After reaching the college on December 19, I came to know that authorities had given a police complaint alleging that I used abusive words.”
According to the suspension order, action was taken based on Giri Shankar’s complaint that a group of students under the leadership of Vaishakh and his friend Siddharth, was shouting a filthy slogan against him.
“But that slogan, which does have a filthy word, is a common slogan used by every student of the Law College for decades. That day everyone was shouting it, but he gave a complaint against me and my friend alone because he knew that I would complain to the police about him abusing me by my caste in public,” Vaisakh said.
The statement from the college also says that a staff council meeting held on December 19 decided to forward Giri Shankar’s complaint to police.
It also says that another staff council meeting held on December 20 had prima facie found that Vaishakh and Siddharth had misbehaved on December 16, and alleges they were drunk.
Vaisakh denies all the allegations and says that he was insulted in public only because he questioned the moral policing being done by Giri Shankar.