MG University removes HOD on SC woman researcher’s harassment complaint

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The Mahatma Gandhi University, at Kerala’s Kottayam, has removed the head of its Nano Science and Technology Department following allegations of casteist harassment by a woman researcher.

Research scholar, Deepa Mohan who belongs to Scheduled Caste community, had complained that she was facing caste-based harassment from the Head of Department, Professor Nandakumar Kalarickal.

The university, in a statement on Friday, said that Vice Chancellor Sabu Thomas has removed Kalarickal from the post, and taken it over himself as he is also a renowned nanoscientist.

The research scholar has been conducting a protest fast in front of the MG University for the past ten days and the issue had become the centre of media glare.

She has claimed that she was traumatised after facing caste-based discrimination in the Department and was not even allowed to sit in the laboratory. She also alleged that the Head of Department had even locked her inside the laboratory after she complained against him.

Deepa Mohan also said that she was prevented from getting admission to PhD course in the department despite having qualified the GATE exam. She also said that she had successfully passed her MPhil course in 2012 but her certificate was not released till 2015.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor of the MG University, had met the Vice Chancellor and directed him to take immediate action against the Professor.

University sources revealed that the Vice Chancellor had met the Governor to apprise him of the action to be taken against Kalarickal.

However, Deepa Mohan said that the action against the Professor was just an eyewash and her demand was to dismiss him from the University.

Speaking to media persons, she also demanded that the Vice Chancellor must also be removed.

Earlier in the day, state Higher Education Minister, Professor R. Bindu had publicly asked the University as to why the professor concerned was not being removed from his post.

–IANS

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