Published: 18th August 2021
DU prof slaps colleague, DUTA asks university for quick redressal to 'casteist abuse'
Whether there was a caste angle to it, can only be verified after a proper investigation. The teachers and students have urged the university to start immediately and solve the issue
Professors at the Delhi University are demanding that action should be taken immediately on a Dalit assistant professor's allegation that she was slapped by another professor and was subjected to casteist discrimination. Dr Neelam, a professor of Hindi at the university's Lakshmibai College has alleged that Dr Ranjit Kaur, the teacher-in-charge, had slapped her during a meeting on campus.
Calling this a very serious allegation that requires immediate redressal, Dr Abha Dev Habib, Treasurer, DU Teachers' Association (DUTA), said, "This is a serious matter. Institutions cannot be allowed to refuse redressal. A fair time-bound inquiry as per rules should be conducted."
The Students' Federation of India (SFI) had also organised a protest at the college against the "casteist and humiliating act". Dr Neelam has reportedly filed a complaint with the police and one with the principal of the college as well. According to reports, she said that she had asked to check the minutes of a just-concluded meeting when she alleges that Dr Kaur slapped her. Dr Kaur, on the other hand, said that the Hindi professor had asked to check not one but the minutes of the past three to four meetings which could have taken them three to four hours. She added that she was in a hurry and wanted to leave.
During a scuffle that broke out, she said, that she might have hit Dr Neelam's face. But it wasn't intentional. There have been only a few professors who have came out to support Dr Neelam.
Was it deliberate or a mistake? For her part, Dr Kaur has not denied the allegation that she slapped the professor but merely said that it was not intentional. Whether there was a caste angle to it, can only be verified after a proper investigation, which the teachers and students have urged the university to start immediately and solve the issue.