Published: 25th September 2019
Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinath who quit over Kashmir issue stopped from entering Pune University library
Gopinathan said that after the heated arguments and confrontation between students and the library officials, the idea to visit the library was dropped
IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, who quit the services over "denial of freedom of expression" to people of Jammu and Kashmir, has claimed he was barred from visiting the library at the Savitribai Phule Pune University here.
However, library officials at the Jaykar Knowledge Resource Centre said that by asking for an application for Gopinathan's visit on Monday, the institute was following due procedure.
"Got the taste! In Pune university, students enthusiastically called me to the Jayakar library saying a lot of UPSC aspirants study there and would like to meet. That's when the librarian realised who I am & asked to submit an application for consideration to enter the library!" he tweeted.
"But then the students told that no political activity against Government is allowed in the university/hostel by regulation! Anyway, being thrown out is not a good feeling. But counts as new experience. So all good," Gopinathan tweeted. Replying to a query by a student on Twitter, Gopinathan said he left Pune the Monday afternoon itself.
"Will definitely be coming back. Let's meet then," he added.
Talking to PTI, Gopinathan said that after the heated arguments and confrontation between students and the library officials, the idea to visit the library was dropped and he later had an interaction with students at one of the canteens of the university.
"As I was in the city to deliver talks, some students wanted to show me the university and told me that the library is very good and a lot of students prepare for UPSC and other civil services exams there," he said.
"I was told that these students would love to talk to me," he added. He said that on Monday they went inside the library and met the official in charge. "I introduced myself and I also said that I have resigned (from IAS) and added that the students had called me for informal interaction," he said.
"While the students were excited, the library in- charge asked me to submit an application (for the visit).
As the conversation between students and the library in charge was getting heated up over the issue, we decided to walk out and sat in a canteen there and had a talk," Gopinathan said.
In a series of tweets, he said, "Well, at first I was a bit perplexed. But then the students told that no political activity against government is allowed in university/hostel by regulation! Anyway, being thrown out is not a good feeling. But counts as a new experience. So all good. "The officials ruled out any "selective" treatment to Gopinathan and said that the application was sought to maintain it for the records.
"The norm is for everybody who visits the library. Whosoever comes to the library, we take a formal application. Last year, relatives of Dr M R Jaykar, the first vice-chancellor of the university, came to the library and that time also an application (form) was taken (from them," an official said.
Some students expressed confusion over why library officials insisted on an application form and claimed that they behaved rudely with Gopinathan.