Published: 10th July 2021
Researchers express solidarity with IIT Guwahati PhD scholar who was expelled, #justice_for_vikrant trends on Twitter
The institute said that his "defamatory social media posts, offensive letters/emails to various institute functionaries and the Students' Disciplinary Committee" caused the termination
On June 26, IIT Guwahati had terminated the studentship of Vikrant Singh, a fifth-year PhD student. Protesting this, researchers in the country have kickstarted a seven-day-long online protest, asking the institute to take Vikrant Singh back.
The hashtags #justice_for_vikrant and #iitg_get_back_vikrant are currently trending on Twitter. Organisations like the Ambedkar University Delhi unit of the SFI and advocacy group Youth4Swaraj too have extended their support to Vikrant. Scholar Sense, a social media collective of researchers across the country has also called for more tweets with hashtags.
"We are very disappointed and condemn the one-sided action taken by IITGuwahati against PhD student Vikrant Singh. It’s a blatant abuse of power and completely against the right to freedom of speech. Dear researcher, please raise your voice unitedly against this cruel unethical act," they tweeted. The protest that began on July 7, will go on until July 14.
In a letter addressed to Vikrant, the institute said that his "defamatory social media posts, offensive letters/emails to various institute functionaries and the Students' Disciplinary Committee" were the reasons for the expulsion. Earlier in October, Vikrant had shared a news item about the JEE Main topper using a proxy to write the examination and went on to deride what he felt were falling standards in the country's most eminent institutes. In his post, he criticises IITG for asking former professor Brijesh Rai to opt for compulsory retirement.