A professor of the Central University of Jharkhand has been suspended for inviting a Jawaharlal Nehru University teacher to the institution. Shreya Bhattacharji had invited JNU professor NM Panini to be the guest-of-honour in an event organised to mark Sardar Patel's birth anniversary.
Wondering what could have prompted such a move? The fact that Panini was a professor at JNU and had vocally supported students branded 'anti-national' by the state and the Dehi Police.
According to NDTV reports, Bhattacharji, an associate professor, had invited MN Panini and that did not go down well with seniors. Soon after Vice-Chancellor Nand Kumar Yadav suspended Bhattacharji.
Her suspension order says, " Dr. Shreya Bhattacharji, Associate Professor, Centre of English language invited Prof. N.M. Panini from JNU as Guest of Honor for the said celebrations on 19 March, 2016 without prior permission of the office of the Vice Chancellor."
Vice Chancellor, Nand Kumar Yadav, Central University of Jharkhand.
The order further read, " Dr Panini is considered as mentor of the group of students of JNU, who were involved in anti-national activities in JNU campus recently." The statement also said Dr Bhattacharji did not read about the invited professor's credentials and has tarnished the image of the University.
Panini, however, insisted that he had been invited to the programme by the Vice Chancellor himself.
He told The Indian Express, “The programme was initially supposed to happen several months ago but was eventually finalised for March 19. At the time, the V-C spoke to me over the phone and said he was happy to invite me for the lecture. I had asked them to book my ticket via Delhi from Mysore where I stay. When I reached Delhi on the 17th, the V-C called me again and said that the programme had been cancelled.”
“He only said that there was some agitation by students, which is why they were cancelling it. I probed and asked him if it was because I was from JNU. He said ‘Yes. There’s nothing personal against you but it’s because you are from JNU’. My ticket from Delhi to Bangalore was also cancelled by them later.”
JNU has been in the eye of a controversy since February this year after the government and police cracked down on students accusing them of sedition, following an event organised to allegedly mark Afzal Guru's death anniversary.
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