Kanpur, April 16: The Indian Institute of Techonology, Kanpur, (IIT-K) would be lodging FIRs against four of its professors after finding them guilty of harassing a Dalit faculty member. The action comes in the wake of a notice by the National Commission of Scheduled Castes (NCSC).
According to DNA, the NCSC had summoned IIT-K director Prof Manindra Agarwal along with other senior faculty members on April 10 to submit their report on the allegations by Assistant Professor Dr Subramanium Sundrela. Unhappy with the Institute for over the inaction, the NCSC asked it to submit its action-taken report on May 1.
The harassment charges have been levelled by Dr Sundrela, himself an IIT-K alumnus, who joined the airspace department as faculty in January this year. He had lodged his complaint with the IIT-K Board against four senior professors, alleging they made casteist remarks against him and subjected him to mental torture because of his caste. IIT-K constituted a three-member committee to probe the allegations. In its report tabled on March 19, the committee had found all the four professors guilty of the charges against them. However, the Institute, instead of taking action, reportedly sought for some sort of a compromise between the victim and the accused.
Sundrela then took his complaint to the NCSC which summoned Institute director Agarwal and other faculty members. Agarwal is quoted as saying, “We will abide by the Commission’s order and initiate action.” He also said that a meeting of the Board was being convened to discuss the NSCS’ directive. According to a report in the Times of India, the NCSC has also asked IIT-Kanpur to remove a faculty member from the Board for his alleged lenient approach towards the errant professors. It has also asked the Institute to remove the liaison office of its SC/ST Cell.
IIT-K, one of the country’s most prestigious institutions, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. Earlier this year, the High Court had set aside suspension of 22 students of IIT-K over complaints of ragging.