TNN Jan 11, 2014,

MUMBAI: Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has intervened in the suspension of econometrics professor Neeraj Hatekar and has asked Mumbai University vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar to submit a detailed report on it.

On Friday morning, Chavan asked his officers to apprise him of the matter and then called on Welukar and asked him to submit a detailed report on the suspension case. Hatekar was suspended for speaking to the media about irregularities in the university and about falling academic and governance standards, which authorities claimed were “untrue”.

Meanwhile, the BJP has also come out in support of Hatekar and asked the V-C to immediately revoke the suspension order. “Hatekar is a whistleblower and you cannot suspend him for speaking to the media,” the party said in a press note.

The department of economics, on its part, dispatched the statement issued by the board of management to the V-C. It demanded withdrawal of Hatekar’s suspension.

“We understand that it (Hatekar’s suspension) was not an item on the agenda of the management council, but introduced by you on the table. As experienced administrators and educationists, we are astounded that a provision expected to be used in extraordinary circumstance was used to penalize Hatekar.”

In the meantime, 20 volunteers of Aam Aadmi Party, who were arrested on Thursday after leading a student procession to Raj Bhavan, were released on bail in the magistrate court. The case will come up for hearing on January 15.

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