Delhi University has constituted a committee headed by a retired professor to probe the disposal of radioactive material Cobalt-60 from its campus, with a report expected in a month’s time.
The three-member committee will “inquire into the disposal of gamma cell model 220, AECL from the Department of Chemistry,” the University said in a statement today.
The committee is headed by S.C. Pancholi, retired professor from Department of Physics and Astrophysics, of DU and has as its members scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science (INMAS) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
Subhash Khushu, Divisional of Radiological Imaging and Biomedical Engineering, INMAS, and N C Goomer, Head, Regional Centre for Radiopharmaceuticals, BARC, are also on the panel which will investigate the fiasco that has claimed one life and injured six others in New Delhi.
Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental had earlier proposed the name of Dr Dwarkanath as a member of the panel, but he was replaced by Khushu after protests and allegations that he was close to V S Parmar, the Head of Chemistry Department.
The committee is expected to submit its report or recommendations within one month, the statement said.
The Delhi University Teachers Association, meanwhile, continued to protest the appointment of any committee by the Vice Chancellor, arguing that it would be an “eyewash“.
DUTA members held a demonstration at the campus today demanding removal of the VC, and a visitorial inquiry into the episode. They also alleged the head of the appointed committee “was close” to the Vice-Chancellor.
“We will not accept any committee established by the VC. For any fair probe, he should be removed,” said Aditya Misra, President, DUTA.
In a related development, the administration has notified suspension of all activity involving use of radiation sources in the University and has furnished the details of activities related to radioactive sources and radioisotopes in various departments to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.
“The University has also requested AERB to get the safety status of all the departments checked and inform the University in any action is required,” it said.
The VC earlier accepted “moral responsibility” and apologised for the incident but a section of University teachers and students have said this was not enough.