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Dalit scholar alleges harassment at JNU

: A Dalit research scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has alleged that he was discriminated against on the basis of his caste, forcing him to threaten suicide.

The scholar, who wished to remain anonymous, was awarded a five-year fellowship in 2011 to complete his Ph.D from the varsity’s School of International Studies’ Centre. However, he deregistered from JNU in 2013 for some time.

Now, his fellowship has been stopped and he was asked to return the money he took from the centre for a field trip.

In a letter to JNU Vice-Chancellor S.K. Sopory on January 21, he said he would commit suicide if the fellowship was not resumed. The issue was taken up by the JNU Students’ Union, which held a protest outside the centre on Monday.

“The administration has agreed that if the centre gives a letter stating the time period the scholar was deregistered for, they will forward it to the Finance Division and the fellowship will be restarted,” said Rama Naga, the general secretary of the union.

As per the scholar’s letter, which was sent to the union as well, he was “constantly harassed” and discriminated against because of his caste.

Shehla Rashid, the vice-president of the union, said that the centre in question “had a history of discriminating against those from marginalised communities and the visually-impaired ”.

Mr. Sopory, who will demit office on Wednesday, was quoted as saying that the matter would be resolved soon, and that he had asked the security officials of JNU to keep a check on the scholar.

This incident comes at a time that the controversy over the suicide of a Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University has taken centre-stage across campuses in India.



Claims varsity stopped his fellowship after he deregistered for some time



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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 8:50:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Dalit-scholar-alleges-harassment-at-JNU/article14023723.ece

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