Published: 21st November 2019
IIT Guwahati administration demands students reveal names of those who participated in solidarity march for 'targetted' prof
The Student Affairs Office is believed to have sent an email asking for students to also reveal the names of those who motivated anyone to participate in the march
The IIT Guwahati administration is believed to have sent out a letter to some students asking them to name those who participated in the candle march rally — in support of a 'problematic' professor — three days ago. The students had taken out the rally in protest against the administration and the potential sacking of a professor on campus after he allegedly unearthed corruption on campus.
The letter, from the Student Affairs Office, (a copy of which a student has sent to us) asks that the receivers reveal the identities of those who had participated in the march and if they had participated themselves to file a response with their justification for doing so. The other two questions that the email asks is — Have you motivated anyone or group of students for their participation in the said march? Have you observed someone else motivating the students for participation int he said march? If yes, kindly specify names.
The office then asks that students to submit a hard copy of their replies to the Student Affairs Counter in a sealed envelope by November 20. The administration sent out a second email on November 20 extending the time to the next day afternoon. "Please note that if the office does not get your reply by tomorrow noon, it will be presumed that you had participated in the said march," SAO states in the email.
One of the students who received the mail said that he had also received another mail calling for the students involved to attend a meeting which was allegedly called off later. "When I received the email, I replied asking what the agenda of the meeting was but I didn't receive any reply. They sent a mail also saying that it was an urgent meeting but they cancelled it," he said.
The student, who wished to remain unnamed said that this was just a way for the administration to put pressure on the students, "I am a bit scared, of course, because I'm concerned about my work and my admission here. But I know Dr Rai personally and he has a very helping nature. He has helped lots of students and we know what he has done for the institute. Every time we make any demands the institute says they are facing a fund crunch but somehow they seem to have money for other frivolous things," the student said.
The student said the way that the institute is handling the whole issue is unfortunate but that the students are aware of their rights, "We are mature enough to know that it is our right to make demands. The institute is for the students and their responsibility is towards us. But we know that they are capable of doing anything," the student said.
The administration had earlier made a media statement claiming that no decision about his employment had been communicated to Dr BK Rai and that reports stating he had been fired were false. "This attempt to divert the main issue and gain public sympathy is intentionally being done to tarnish the reputation of the Institute and its administrators and influencing the decision-making process."