Lucknow University: Teachers offer mass resignation

Allege attack by protesting students and ABVP leaders; V-C claims issue ‘has been resolved’.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Updated: March 17, 2016 2:32:10 pm

A day after a students’ protest against the removal of provost of a girls’ hostel on the campus turned violent, as many as 95 teachers of Lucknow University have offered to resign citing difficulty in working under the “current atmosphere”.

Alleging misbehaviour and attack by the students, who were led reportedly by members of the ABVP, teachers from the Proctorial Board, Provost Board and Dean Student Welfare Committee Wednesday called for “strict action” against all culprits irrespective of their affiliation to “any group or organisation.”

“About 95 teachers have offered their resignation…over yesterday’s treatment with teachers on the campus,” said Chief Proctor Nishi Pandey.

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Vice-Chancellor S B Nimse, however, claimed the matter has been “resolved”.

“While teachers had offered their resignation, it does not stand because we have resolved the issue,” the V-C told The Indian Express.
He said that the university’s “first priority is to bring harmony on campus”.

He, however, maintained that “argument with teachers can be accepted but physical misbehaviour will not be accepted the on campus.”

The university early Tuesday suspended Sheela Mishra, provost of Kailash Hostel on the campus, after some students, claiming themselves to be supporters of Samajwadi Yuvjan Chhatra Sabha, complained against her on the basis of a video purportedly showing her son Utkarsh dancing with some of the hostel girls.

The university also asked Mishra to vacate her accommodation on the campus by Wednesday evening, although the latter was yet to comply to that order.

However, some girl students Tuesday came out in support of Mishra and sat on a dharna outside the hostel. They were joined by members of the ABVP. Sensing trouble, the university called upon the police. When the police arrived, the protest soon turned violent as students turned to attack the teachers, damaging their vehicles and setting their houses on fire. Protesters also pelted stones at the police, prompting officers to resort to lathi-charge.

The violence continued until Wednesday evening with heavy police force deployed at several places on the campus. Mishra, who has since refused to leave the campus, claims the video of her son that has now gone viral is two years old and was being used to “tarnish her image”.

The recent incident comes weeks after protests that had taken place on the campus against a senior professor for sharing an article on Umar Khalid of JNU on social networking website Facebook.

Following Tuesday’s violence, an FIR has been registered at Hasanganj police station against 18 named and 100 unidentified people on various charges including rioting, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, attempt to murder, endangering life or personal safety of others. Among those named in the FIR include Mishra, her father Prabhat and an ABVP leader Anurag Tiwari.

Vishwa Pratap Singh, a leader of the ABVP who was part of the late night protest, refuted allegations that students had misbehaved with the teachers or that they damaged any property.

He claimed the ABVP did not go there to support Mishra but to support the girl students who were protesting outside the hostel.

“We were not part of the protest and were just onlookers but we had to intervene when police started misbehaving with the girls and began to lathi-charge. We have nothing to do with the politics concerning the teachers of the university,” he claimed.

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