The Vice-Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi University, Rajan Gurukkal, has sought a police inquiry into the veracity and origin of reports that appeared in a section of the media on alleged Maoists connection with four former students of the School of International Relations and Politics (SIRP), who were said to have hailed from Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

University authorities said preliminary inquiries by Professor Gurukkal found that the content of the reports was baseless. However, since national security and the credibility of one of the flagship teaching departments of the university were involved, it was decided to refer the matter to the Department of Home.

A letter seeking a police inquiry has been sent to State Home Minister, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Speaking to TheHindu, Professor Gurukkal said there was reason to believe that this was an attempt to bring the credibility of the teaching department under a cloud. The university was keen on finding the sources of the reports.

SIRP director Raju Thadikkaran said only two students of Indian nationality from outside Kerala studied in the department since its inception in 1983 — one was from Tamil Nadu and the other from Andhra Pradesh.

“No students from Chhattisgarh or West Bengal had studied here. The records of the school can be examined to verify the facts,” he said.

The SIRP was organising academic conferences in collaboration with agencies such as the UGC, the Ministry of External Affairs, ICSSR and the ICCR, Professor Thadikkaran said.

As an institution of repute, conferences of national and international levels organised by the SIRP attracted experts and academicians from abroad in large numbers. “We have taken every step to maintain the highest level of transparency and accountability in financial transactions,” he said.

Signing of MoU

Dean of Social Sciences and director of research at the SIRP K.M. Seethi said a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Mahatma Gandhi University and Jinan University, China, in September 2009 was one of the finest examples of international cooperation in the world of academia.

The MoU was signed by the President (vice-chancellor) of Jinan University and the Registrar of Mahatma Gandhi University.

“The Chinese delegation met journalists on the day and the initiative was widely published in the media,” Professor Seethi said.

“The texts of the agreement had passed through all legal procedures and were signed by the university authorities,” he added.

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