Published: 04th December 2019
IIT Guwahati's 'whistleblower' prof asked to refund 'extra' salary, official email ID access cut off too
Rai is worried that many students would have given his email ID to potential employers or guides as a reference or for recommendation could be several impacted by this move
IIT Guwahati professor, Brijesh Kumar Rai has allegedly been harassed by the administration in various ways ever since he became a whistleblower. The administration's latest action against the professor has been to block his official email ID and he has also been sent a letter stating that he was paid 'excess' salary between 2010-2013 and to pay up that amount to the administration.
A few days ago, Rai had said that he had been cut off from the group email inbox — the faculty and administration could interact with each other on this email. Rai believed that he has been blocked because he had sent an email to all the faculty about the harassment he was facing and his potential lay-off. Now, Rai said his official email ID has been blocked as well, this means that he has been pretty much cut-off from his academic world since this is the email ID he has shared with publishing houses, educational institutions, academic circles and students as well.
"Apart from several academicians and work-related contacts, I've also shared this email ID with banks, publication houses and others. Now I have no access to any of the mails that they send me which could be very important," Rai said. But the professor is more worried about the impact this will have on his students, "Many students would have given my email ID to potential employers or guides as a reference or for a recommendation. If I am unable to respond to those emails, the student's career would be unnecessarily impacted," he added.
Rai says that what the administration has done is illegal because they didn't intimate him about the decision in advance, "They should have atleast let me know that they were going to do this, atleast I would have made a backup and let my contacts know of the same. This is just another way for them to harass me and make my life difficult." He also adds, that the email is a Microsoft account and not a campus run server, which is why it makes the blocking illegal as well.
In addition to the email ID blacking, today, the professor received a notice from the administration that they would be seizing Rs 2 lakh from him because he had allegedly received 'extra' salary between 2010-2013. "Ten years ago, when I was offered the job, my offer letter mentioned a certain amount and that's what I was paid. And now after all this time, they are telling me that that that money was extra," he said. The letter, Rai received, he says states that the administration found out about the 'extra salary' after an audit, "An audit is conducted every five years. If they did conduct it even just before I joined, then they should have come out with this finding in 2016, not now. And if they did it in the next five years, the finding would not have come so early," he justifies.
However, Rai is not the only one to have received this letter, "Two of my friends have also received similar letters. So now they are not just attacking me, they are also harassing my friends," he said. The professors said that the letter was issued by a 'competent authority', "But who decides that they are a competent authority? This is just a conspiracy," he feels.
Despite Rao going through such a tough time, many students have extended their support to him. Even students in other campuses have reached out to the students IIT-G. Today a silent protest took place in AIIMS, New Delhi, MNNIT Allahabad, MMMUT, Gorakhpur and Dr BRAIT, Ambedkar Nagar.