JNU professor submits resignation

NEW DELHI, MARCH 24. Over a month after students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) staged a hunger strike demanding suspension of Urdu Professor Naseer Ahmad Khan for victimising them by giving low grades, the professor submitted his resignation citing "inability to cope with recent events in the centre'' as the reason.

While students described it as a victory of their `struggle', the University maintained that the decision to resign was a personal one taken by the professor and had nothing to do with the University. "Prof. Khan submitted his resignation yesterday and it was accepted. The post of Chairperson of the Centre for Indian Languages will now be taken over by Prof. Mohammad Shahid Hussain, who is the senior most professor after him,'' said JNU Rector Balveer Arora.

A four-member enquiry committee had been set up last year to look into the complaints made against Prof. Khan by students. Although the committee had recommended a re-evaluation of the grades given by him, students of the Centre for Indian languages had refused to be assessed by him, as they believed that he was biased and was deliberately giving them lower grades. Now with him resigning, students believe it is a big victory, and one that they believe would not have come without the pressure put by them, said Shona Mitra, joint secretary of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union.

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