As Delhi University's South Campus held an Open Day session for aspirants on Sunday, some members of the Delhi University Teachers' Association were reportedly roughed up at the venue by the security personnel of DU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deepak Pental whom they had gone to meet.
DUTA president, Prof. Aditya Narayan Misra said: “Elected members of the Academic Council have been protesting at the university for the past four days against the manner in which syllabuses of the Science Faculty were illegally framed and passed at Thursdays' Academic Council meeting.”
“We have been trying to meet the V-C as he is also the chairman of the AC. But he has not been listening to us or giving us time. Fourteen of us went to the South Campus to request him to resolve the crisis. We had no intention of disrupting the Open Day proceedings and did not even enter the hall. Wishing to apprise him, we approached him at which point we were physically manhandled by the university security guards,” he added
“The V-C finally told us that he would meet the AC members when he returns to office. This is a shameful incident as university teachers were not treated properly,” he added.
The DUTA president said he would not approach the police. “If people have done something wrong, they must realise it themselves,” he said.
Associate Professor at Maharaja Agrasen College Bhupinder Choudhary, who was also present at the scene, said: “We wanted him to talk as AC members have been sitting in protest. Prof. Pental arrived at the venue with security guards. As we were approaching him, the security guards pushed and shoved us around. The police also arrived.”
Dr. Rajiv Kumar Verma, an elected AC member, said: “We have received a letter from the V-C asking us to vacate the committee room where we have been sitting in protest for the past four days. However, we are teachers at the university and have every right to occupy it for our protest.”
Labelling the incident unfortunate, Prof. Pental said: “I arrived at the venue when some teacher colleagues ran towards to me. The security thought they were going to attack me when they saw them running towards me. The security was trying to protect me and tried to stop them.”
Prof. Pental admitted that there was pushing and shoving of the teachers.
When asked if he had gone to meet the AC members, he said: “I will meet them on Tuesday. I am also drafting a letter to the AC stating that their sit-in protest is illegal. Also it is illegal for teachers to withhold the internal assessment marks of students. Further they cannot disrupt meetings of the Committee of Courses.”
Referring to the shift to semester system, he said: “The real issue here is whether to reform or not. The differences that exist among us should be acknowledged but we will have to make the necessary changes.”
Confessing that he was “exhausted”, Prof. Pental admitted that such incidents did not cast the university in favourable light: “We have not covered ourselves with glory,” he said.
Keywords: Abuse of power