TNN | Jan 16, 2014,

MUMBAI: Teacher unions of several universities have written to chancellor K Sankaranarayanan and vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar to reinstate suspended Mumbai University econometrics professor Neeraj Hatekar.

Despite the suspension, Hatekar is conducting lectures outside the campus.

The Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (post-graduate) teachers‘ association expressed “deep concern about the illegal and immoral suspension”. In a letter to the chancellor, association secretary Satish Dandage said: “We consider this as grievously undemocratic and brazenly autocratic act of the vice-chancellor against all of us representing the dedicated teaching community.”

Another 48 teachers from Mumbai University signed a letter against Hatekar’s suspension and sent it to the VC. They expressed their “strong displeasure”. The letter said: “Apart from being an excellent teacher, he is known for his honesty, his selfless nature, his effort for betterment of quality in higher education and his competence in the subject he teaches.”

The state’s minority teaching and non-teaching union has written to the chancellor and stated that Hatekar was within his rights as a citizen “to fight against insensitive, corrupt and the irresponsible bureaucratic machinery”.

Hatekar plans to hold a lecture outside the university gates on Thursday as well. Two students who were detained by the police on Wednesday evening for protesting by raising black flags against the VC were released a little before midnight, after the Octave festival ended.

The University Community for Democracy and Equality (UCDE) held a general body meeting of students on Wednesday.

Narayan Kharade, member of the convening committee of the UCDE, said it was decided that a one-day hunger strike would be held and signatures would be collected for a memorandum to be sent to the chief minister and the education minister against the suspension. We are going to organize class-to-class propaganda to make this hunger strike successful. We hope that common students of MU would also join us in the protest. Though the date of the hunger strike has not been finalized yet, but tentatively it will be on January 20. Till then, we will also continue to collect more signatures for the memorandum to be submitted to the CM and Education Minister, against the suspension.”

The law on detention

* For preventive detention, the police generally use Section 151(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, where a police officer has got powers to detain a person for a maximum period of 24 hours. If it is expected that the person would be a threat to the peace for a longer duration, then a magistrate can authorize detention for up to 30 days.

* Once a person is detained, generally a chapter case is made against him for signing a bond of good behaviour. If the person is unable to sign a bond with proper sureties as demanded by the executive magistrate, then he can be detained for a year

* The police, after obtaining orders from the commissioner of police, detain a person under the National Security Act and also under Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers and Drug Offenders Act. Such detention can be for a maximum a year. Confirmation from an advisory board would be required after two months, failing which the detained person would be released



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