Pankul Sharma | TNN | 


Meerut: Tired of inaction against a faculty member of Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCSU) who had allegedly harassed him, a Dalit research scholar from NAS College here has threatened to commit suicide “like Rohith Vemula” if authorities ignore his complaint.

“The Research Design Course committee gave the nod to my research topic in 2012. As University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued an order that all research scholar had to go through a six-month pre-PHD course, we couldn’t start our research till the course was over,” said Harish Kumar, the researcher, narrating the events.

Due to administrative difficulties, the pre-PHD course started only from March to November 2014, based on availability of subject coordinators in different departments. Kumar alleged that when the course started in November-December 2014, he reached the history department and asked why his batch was merged with the second batch whose course had to be started six months after his batch, but he was insulted. “The coordinator, Aradhana Gupta started to shout at me instead of giving me any reasonable answer. I started to attend the classes but most of the time I was provided a paper to sign on that to mark my attendance instead of any attendance register. After six months 10-12 scholars including me were asked to take extra classes as we were short on attendance. Although I attended them, I was still not permitted to take internal exams,” he said.

Aradhana Gupta, however, denied misbehaving with the scholar. “He was stopped along with 17 other scholars from taking the exam due to shortfall in attendance. Kumar only came to the department on the very first day of the course and we saw him again only when internal exams were about to start. When all the students had signed on the attendance register, why would he be given a paper instead? He is completely lying,” the professor added.

The faculty member said on the request of students with less attendance, the department had arranged extra classes for 20 days in July-August 2015. “But Kumar attended 10 classes in five days. The final exams will start on March 6 and only those scholars who have cleared internal exams and have 45% attendance will be allowed to appear. Therefore he has filed a complaint even though he has no specific allegation to make. At the beginning of the course he had a heated argument with me after which he gave a written apology,” Gupta added.

On being asked why he had apologized to Gupta if she had harassed him, Kumar said he was forced to write an apology as he was a Dalit and poor. “Now I have just two options, either take to crime or commit suicide like Rohith Vemula,” Kumar said.

Vice chancellor NK Taneja said the matter had been settled but if the student has complained again, an enquiry would be made into it. Meanwhile, Kumar has sent a copy of the complaint to the district magistrate, in which he mentions writing to PM Modi, HRD minister Smriti Irani and chairman of UGC. “If I commit suicide following Rohith Vedula’s footsteps, Anuradha Gupta, the V-C, PM and HRD minister will be responsible,” said the letter.