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Kerala varsity associate professor backs Dalit scholar on Facebook, removed as HoD

Dr Prasad Pannian had last month condemned the arrest of research scholar Ganthoti Nagaraju. Pannian was suspended as the HoD on Friday, pending a probe.

By: Express News Service | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: September 10, 2018 4:31:34 am
Kerala varsity associate professor backs Dalit scholar on Facebook, removed as HoD Dr Prasad Pannian. (Source: Facebook)

The Central University of Kerala in Kasaragod has removed an associate professor as head of the department of English and Comparative Literature for his Facebook post supporting a Dalit research scholar, who was arrested and remanded in judicial custody for breaking the glass pane of a fire alarm cabinet in the university hostel.

Dr Prasad Pannian had last month condemned the arrest of research scholar Ganthoti Nagaraju. Pannian was suspended as the HoD on Friday, pending a probe. However, he would continue as a faculty member.

In his Facebook post, Pannian said, “An act of misdemeanour has been criminalised is deeply disturbing… this is a minor offence that should have been settled on the campus itself. It is extremely saddening to know that our student is lying on the cold floor of the prison cell on charges of breaking a glass pane.’’

University Pro V-C Dr K Jayaprasad said Pannian had criticised the university and published his comments on Facebook about legal action taken against Nagaraju. “He has violated service rules. There had been several incidents in which he had criticised the university… There was a complaint from another faculty member of the same department against Pannian.’’

He said the university had recently issued a circular to all its employees, including the faculty, warning them against criticising it on social media.

Pannian was not available for comment. Sources close to him said he is planning to move court.

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