Published: 24th February 2022
Now I understand how Rohith felt: IIT-M ex-prof Vipin Veetil alleges harassment by guards, authorities
Dr Veetil has only a few days left on campus and would have to vacate his quarters by February 28. He resigned this January
Dr Vipin P Veetil, a former assistant professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of IIT Madras who just resigned last month, alleged that he is still being harassed by the authorities even in his last days on campus. Dr Veetil said that security guards had tried to break into his quarters on campus and have harassed him. He is supposed to vacate his residence on campus by February 28. Last year, Dr Veetil made headlines after he had alleged that institutional caste discrimination is rampant at the IIT.
Dr Veetil said that on February 22, at around 11:30 am, he found two guards of a private security firm employed by IIT Madras banging his door and then trying to open it. "I had just come back home. I opened the door and asked them what the matter was. They were very rude — quite unlike their behaviour. They asked when I had come back home and then proceeded to call the Deputy Security Officer to report that I was indeed at home," recounted Dr Veetil, who has filed a police complaint as well. "They even tried to sneak a peek and see if anyone was inside. They tried to check if I was meeting someone," he added.
Dr Veetil said that it has been a harrowing experience for him. "It's not about just one incident. It is the culmination of repeated incidents like these that leave you mentally disturbed. I now understand how Rohith (Vemula) felt. And he was so much younger," he said and added that he had written to the Ministry of Education about this incident as well.
An earlier official IIT Madras order dated February 15 had asked Dr Veetil to vacate his quarters by February 18, but he wasn't in town then. A revised order was issued on February 18 which gave him an extension till February 28 — the day he was initially asked to vacate the campus.
The institution has not commented on the current issue. This copy will be updated when they do.