American College staff, who are opposing interference by the CSI Bishop in college affairs, have threatened to intensify their agitation from next week to protect the institution's independence, sanctity and reputation.

They accused the police of not taking firm action against those who indulged in violence on the campus on March 14.

The teaching and non-teaching staff have demanded that the police punish those who were involved in the attacks and who instigated violence in the college.

A group of teaching staff, who have been opposing CSI Bishop Christopher Asir for his “interference” in college administration, made an appeal to the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday not to ignore the crisis faced by American College.

R.K. Alagesan, Head of Tamil Department and Madurai Kamaraj University Academic Council member, P. Kumarasamy of Zoology Department, Winfred Thomas of Botany Department and R. Prabhakaran, assistant professor, Tamil Department, spoke to reporters on their next course of action.

“The American College issue is not a fight between former Principal T. Chinnaraj Joseph Jaikumar and the Bishop. This is not an ego clash. Our fight is to maintain this college as an independent institution,” said Mr. Prabhakaran.

Mr. Thomas accused the Bishop of seeing the 45-acre campus as a “real estate property and not as an academic institution.”

Arbitrary appointment

They found fault with the manner in which the CSI Bishop suddenly appointed R. Mohan as Principal when it was clearly stated in a judgment that the Bishop could not interfere in college administration.

Saying that the untoward incidents in the college on March 14 were “planned attack and not a spontaneous reaction,” the teaching staff alleged that the Tallakulam police were remaining as spectators and no action had been taken against the attackers.

“The Tallakulam police station inspector must be transferred and unbiased action must be taken on those who damaged the property by even entering residential areas on the campus. If the police do not take action, it will send out a wrong signal and this trend may spread to other colleges also,” the faculty members said.

Concern expressed

Dr. Alagesan expressed concern that the government did not bother to swiftly act despite protests for the past 98 days.

“Unfortunately, there is no statement either by the Higher Education Minister or the Higher Education Secretary on the issue. The three-member committee formed by the State government must commence its talks to find a solution,” Mr. Prabhakaran said.

The staff also called for withdrawal of “false cases” registered on faculty members and students.

“The State government cannot afford to keep silent for long because it is also a stakeholder in this college by giving salaries to staff. We hope some action will be taken for the good of American College,” Dr. Alagesan observed.