Professor's murder sends a chilling message

WITH LESS than a week to go for the New Year, Delhi University could well have done without another addition to the increasing number of criminal cases that have come to haunt the North Campus this year.

The murder of Swami Shraddhanand College's Botany professor, M.N.Singh, by an expelled student has sent more than just shock waves across university circles with teachers wondering aloud about its repercussions on teacher-student relations.

The accused, Ashok Kumar, had been rusticated from the college after he was caught cheating in an examination by Prof. Singh. Teachers say the fact that Prof. Singh had to pay with his life for doing his duty does not make it easy for them, especially with violence on the campus fast increasing.

The Delhi University Teachers' Association, on its part, called for a boycott of classes this past Monday in protest against the murder. While condemning the killing, the DUTA Executive noted that the incident could have "grave consequences''.

In a release to the press, the DUTA has appealed to teachers to donate a day's salary to support Prof. Singh's wife and also announced that it would hand over a cheque for Rs. 2 lakhs to her.

A DUTA delegation is also believed to have met the Vice- Chancellor, Deepak Nayyar, and urged him to convene an emergency meeting of the Executive Council to discuss the possibility of continued payment of the full salary to the family of the deceased.

The Vice-Chancellor is believed to have told the DUTA that the university would provide a job to one of the family members and also financial support to the younger daughter for pursuing further studies.

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Delhi University colleges continue to ride on the festival wave, with this past week witnessing the annual festival of Sri Venkateswara College.

``Nexus-2002'', the college's annual inter-college academic and cultural festival, saw students from different colleges of the city take part in the event this past week-end. Apart from the routine debates and other competitions, the students were treated to a musical evening by the "Chhaiya'' singer Sukhvinder Singh at the star night programme.

Interestingly, quite a few new fads seem to be catching up. Nexus allowed students not to just experiment their creativity on canvas but faces too.

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The much-awaited event finally came to a close. Delhi University teachers had been more than just busy campaigning for the Executive Council and Academic Council elections for the past few weeks and with the event getting over and the winners announced, it is yet again time for the elected members to sit together and decide for themselves.

The results, though, did not really seem to surprise the teaching fraternity. The Democratic Teachers' Front candidate, Vijendra Sharma, and the Academics for Action and Development's Vijai Laxmi had been seen as strong contenders, with the possibility of an upset literally being ruled out by many rival parties.

The Academic Council too will see some familiar faces in its 26 elected members. These include P.Kakra, Gurminder Singh, D.S. Sidhu, S.C.Panda, Virendra Bharadwaj, Sadhana Sharma, A.N.Roy, Khursheed Alam, Dileep Kumar Singh, Inder Narain Singh, C.K.Jaggi and Barkatullah Khan. Elections to the Executive Council and the Academic Council were held this past Friday.

Also elected were Neelam Rathi, Surendra Singh, Hemchand Jain, Ashwini Shankar, V.K.Bhasin, Rita Sinha, Dinesh Adlakha, Sundaram Shukla, S.K.Khanna, Dinesh Varshney, D.N.Kalia, Sudhir Chauhan, Rukmani and A.P.Singh.

By Lakshmi Balakrishnan