Ex-guest lecturer stabs HoD of Madurai varsity

Professor S. Jenefa.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

S. Jenefa, an associate professor and Head of Department of Journalism and Science Communication at Madurai Kamaraj University, was stabbed with a knife on Tuesday morning in her office by a disgruntled former guest lecturer of the department, whose employment was discontinued this academic year.

Ms. Jenefa, who sustained cut and stab injuries in 21 places, including her neck and abdomen, is being treated at a private hospital here.

Although she lost a lot of blood, hospital sources said she was out of danger.

The incident happened when Ms. Jenefa entered her office on the second floor of her department’s building after taking attendance in a classroom.

The assailant V. Jothimurugan, 32, followed her and attacked her with a knife, police said.

Hearing her scream, a few students in a nearby classroom rushed to her help and found Ms. Jenefa lying on the floor bleeding, with Jothimurugan standing nearby.

Since a 108 ambulance was kept on standby in MKU for a job fair in progress, Ms. Jenefa was immediately taken to a nearby Primary Health Centre in Nagamalai Pudukottai and subsequently to a multi-speciality hospital in the city.

Some of the students beat up Jothimurugan, but the police intervened and took him into their custody.

The Madurai district police said that Jothimurugan was from Kulamangalam village and an MKU alumnus. He was engaged as a guest lecturer on a temporary basis to mainly handle practicals for students.

He had also enrolled for a part-time Ph. D programme at the Centre for Film and Electronic Media Studies in MKU, after an unsuccessful attempt to register for Ph. D at the Department of Journalism and Science Communication with Ms. Jenefa as his research guide. The faculty at DJSC, headed by Ms. Jenefa, decided not to renew his engagement as guest lecturer this academic year because of his reported inefficiency in handling classes and alleged inappropriate behaviour with a staff member, university sources said.

Recalling that he continued to visit Ms. Jenefa seeking a reappointment, a senior faculty member said that the two had a heated argument on Monday after Jothimurugan came to know that two others had been engaged as guest lecturers.

Family issues

Police sources said that Jothimurugan’s marital relationship had strained after his wife and her family came to know about his status of employment status.

MKU Vice-Chancellor P.P. Chellathurai, who visited Ms. Jenefa at the hospital, said that Jothimurugan’s enrolment in the part-time Ph. D program would be immediately terminated and a committee would be set up to inquire into the incident. Safety measures in the university would also be improved, he said.

The Nagamalai Pudukottai police said that a case of attempt to murder had been registered against Jothimurugan.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 1:23:13 PM |

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