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SC researcher calls off fast after MGU accepts demands

The PhD scholar said she decided to withdraw her protest after her demands were accepted by the varsity authorities.

Published: 09th November 2021 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2021 04:34 AM   |  A+A-

Deepa P Mohanan at the venue of her hunger strike in front of MG University campus in Kottayam

By Express News Service

KOTTAYAM: After 11 days, the Scheduled Caste researcher at Mahatma Gandhi University who had raised caste discrimination on the part of a professor and sexual harassment allegations against a fellow researcher and a varsity employee called off her indefinite hunger strike following talks with the authorities led by Vice-Chancellor Prof Sabu Thomas.

The PhD scholar said she decided to withdraw her protest after her demands were accepted by the varsity authorities. As per the decisions, Prof Nandakumar Kalarikkal, director of the International and Inter-University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IIUCNN), against whom the researcher raised caste discrimination, will be removed from the centre. Kalarikkal will not be given any charges or responsibilities in connection with the research work of the student. Charles Sebastian, a temporary employee at the IIUCNN, against whom sexual harassment charges were raised, will also removed from the centre.

Besides, the varsity will extend the time given to complete her research work till March 2024. Earlier, the High Court had set March 23, 2020 as the time limit for the girl to complete the research. This will be extended for another four years from the said date. 

The university will also provide laboratory, hostel and library facilities for her research and provide research fellowship for a period of two years. The university will take necessary steps to clear the arrears due to the researcher in this regard. The university has decided to set up a special committee to look into the various complaints raised by her. Syndicate member and dean of the School of Gandhian Thought and Development Studies (SGTDS) M H Illyas and syndicate members Shajila Beevi and Anitha R will be the members of the committee.

In addition, one more committee will be formed to evaluate and oversee the facilities provided by the university to the researcher. Illyas, syndicate member and Dean of the School of Tourism Studies Robinet Jacob and Saritha Mohan of the School of Pure and Applied Sciences will represent the varsity on the committee, while researcher’s mother Sambavi K P, M N Sajeesh Kumar and Anuraji P R will be the members from the researcher’s side.

Prof E K Radhakrishnan will continue as her guide. Vice-chancellor Sabu Thomas and Dr Beena Mathew of the School of Chemical Sciences will be her co-guides. University officials assured her that no retaliatory action would be taken against her in connection with the strike.

Special committee
The university has decided to set up a special committee to look into the various complaints raised by the researcher



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