Published: 17th February 2020
Broke and drained, IIT Guwahati whistleblower prof posts public appeal for help to pay legal fees
They have inflicted huge personal, financial and professional damages on me by conspiring against me, Brijesh says
The 'whistleblower' professor from IIT Guwahati who was sent on 'compulsory retirement' a few weeks ago is now appealing to the public for financial help to fight his legal battles. With currently no source of income, the professor claimed in his appeal that he was unable to take care of day-to-day expenses either even since he was 'targetted' for exposing corruption in the institute,
Assistant Professor Brijesh Kumar Rai has been in the news over the last few months after he opened up about being 'targetted' by the institute after he purportedly exposed corruption there. "I have unraveled various cases of illegal recruitments, cases of nepotism, wastage of public fund and total misuse of posts for personal gains by a few corrupt officials/ designated authorities. This is nothing but blatant violation of set rules and law of the land. In this confrontation, corrupt officials have left no stone unturned to harm me and almost destroyed my career," he says. When news of the corruption spread, Rai's students took to the streets to march in support of the professor.
Recently, the Gauhati High Court had offered Rai some form of mild respite as they had said that the institute could not evict him from his quarters till the hearing on March 3, subject to his bills and charges being paid.
Two students also launched a hunger strike in support of the professor and demanded immediate intervention of the MHRD and other top authorities in the matter. The administration first blocked Rai's access to the group faculty email inbox, then blocked his own email ID which meant he could not correspond with his professional acquaintances as well as respond to students who had used him as a reference for future employment or academic prospects. He was issued a series of show-cause notices, his classes were cut and he kept getting called for meetings. Eventually, the institute sent him on 'compulsory retirement' for maligning the name of the institute.
Ever since, Rai has been running in and out of court, but with no income, he has been suffering to pay the bills. "They have inflicted huge personal, financial and professional damages on me by conspiring against me. They have also filed a few false and frivolous complaints against me to criminally intimidate me, that too by utilising taxpayers' money in certain cases. With the latest developments, my legal fights have increased and this is putting an additional financial burden on me, whereas my source of income is zero," he explained.
"I have to not only survive but also give a strong fightback to those people and achieve the goals. I also need to fight for my dignity/honour. If I get generous volunteered support from the civil society, I can boost (my) ongoing fight in a better manner and give a fitting reply to those who are draining public money for personal agenda and vendetta," the professor said in his appeal. He mentioned that the money would go towards legal fees, travelling, boarding and lodging and other expenditure incurred to meet and seek guidance from social activists, politicians and bureaucrats in Delhi and other places, he said.
His says the money would go towards other needs as well, "To meet daily maintenance expenses including medical expenses, house rent, travel expenses for me and my family. Also, depending on the amount received, to meet the legal expenses for those who have been supporting me and fighting for the same or similar causes," he explained.