Updated: March 1, 2021 7:33:19 am
DAYS AFTER a college principal and 12 college teachers under Jai Prakash University, in Bihar’s Chhapra, were suspended for allegedly dancing to Hindi songs at a college function, the teachers have sent their reply to the showcause notice issued along with suspension by the varsity and denied that they were involved in “gross misconduct and dereliction of duties”.
One of the suspended teachers told The Indian Express that they they had danced with their children after the official function, and also after the national anthem had been sung.
The suspension order was issued on February 13, and the teachers had been given 15 days to reply to the showcause notice.
On December 3 last year, about 60 teachers of Rajendra College-Chhapra, N College-Goreyakothi, and some other colleges under JP University had gathered at Rajendra College to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President.
The following day, a video of some teachers dancing to a popular Hindi song surfaced on social media, leading to probe by an inquiry committee set up on V-C Dr Faruque Ali’s orders. The committee reportedly did not speak to all those present at the function, and 13 teachers confirmed their presence.
On December 13, the university’s registrar issued suspension order to 12 assistant professors of Rajendra College: Vivek Tiwari, Rupa Mukherjee, Tanu Gupta, Gopal Kumar Sahni, Eqbal Zafar Ansari, Tanuka Chatterjee, Bethiyar Singh Sahu, Abdul Rasheed K, Richa Mishra, Ramesh Kumar, Ramanuj Yadav, and Shadab Hashmi; as well as N College principal Pramendra Ranjan Singh.
The letter stated that the teachers were “put under suspension with immediate effect”. They were issued showcause notice to explain why departmental proceeding should not be initiated against them “for gross misconduct and dereliction of duties for involvement in the viral dance video of the item songs…after (the) national anthem”.
V-C Ali could not be contacted for a comment; he did not respond to a text message. Raj Bhavan – the Governor being chancellor of the state university – public relations officer S K Pathak said, “As such orders are issued by a university, we cannot comment.”
Pramendra Ranjan, one of teachers facing suspension, said: “As the inquiry committee has also accepted that the teachers danced after the national anthem, it is evident that our light dance on a Hindi number was not part of the programme. We also did not dance to any vulgar song. We danced a little with our children, maintaining dignity. We wonder why the committee chose to suspend all those who had affirmed their participation at the function.”
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