Published: 03rd November 2018
Central University of Kerala suspends dismissal of Akhil Thazhath, who was expelled for FB post against varsity
The students and unions of the university had launched an agitation demanding that the authorities revoke the dismissal order
Akhil Thazhath, a student of the Central University of Kerala (CUK) who was dismissed for a Facebook post on June 25 this year, is being allowed to resume classes after his dismissal order was suspended on November 2 by the executive council of the central university in Kasargod.
Several news reports said that Akhil was suspended for his fictional Facebook post, alleging that he symbolically targeted the CUK authorities through his derogatory post. In October Akhil attempted to end his life and following that student organisations affiliated to all political parties, except BJP, organised a sit-in protest outside the CUK administrative block demanding the immediate revocation of his dismissal. Akhil, a second year PG student of International Relations and Politics, was suspended on June 25, and after an enquiry, the vice-chancellor G Gopa Kumar expelled him on September 6. The expulsion triggered widespread protest, and the V-C called for a meeting with people’s representatives to discuss the matter.
The suspension order issued by CUK said that the student Akhil Thazhath in his Facebook post on June 22 in reacting on the dismissal of students for serious misconduct from University hostel, used abusive language and filthy words against the Vice-Chancellor, registrar and hostel warden in a public domain, which is prima facie a serious misconduct unbecoming of a student of the university.
"Akhil did not post anything that directly pointed towards the university or officials, it was the attitude of the university administration against a student that led to his writing of the post. In spite of that they decided to dismiss him. We have been protesting for the last few months since his dismissal," says Shilpa S Bose of All India Students' Federation (AISF).
The students of the university had launched an agitation demanding that the authorities revoke the dismissal order. "They have not completely revoked the dismissal order, but they have suspended the order so we can call our protests successful for now," said one of the student leaders of The National Students' Union of India, who wanted to remain anonymous.
The students told Edex that Akhil has not been the only one to face suspension, the Associate Professor Prasad Pannian had also been suspended from the position of head of the Department of English and Comparative Literature in September after he posted on Facebook supporting a student who was arrested for breaking the glass pane of a fire alarm in the hostel.