‘IIT Guwahati Prof’s Suspension Unfair, Students in Solidarity’

‘IIT Guwahati Prof’s Suspension Unfair, Students in Solidarity’

My Report

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

On 19 November, we, the students of IIT Guwahati, staged a candle-light march on the campus to protest the wrongful suspension of Mr Brijesh Rai, an assistant professor in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering.

Professor Rai has been raising his voice against corruption since the 4 years. He is reporting on irregularities within the institute and filing RTIs in that respect, but IIT Guwahati, the EEE department, or the MHRD haven’t taken any action against his complaints. Rather, we students feel that to suppress his voice, they are trying to suspend or terminate him.

A parental figure to many, he has become a hero for the students on campus. Naturally, when we heard of his suspension, we decided to raise our voice.

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More than a thousand students walked with candle lights for a protest that was completely non-violent in nature, at the students’ own will.

There are certain cases of corruption happening everywhere in the campus that are to do with the mismanagement of funds. For example, students have to go for conferences but the institute always says they don’t have funds. In this respect, Mr Rai has helped amplify our voices. When he was suspended on 5 September pending a ‘disciplinary inquiry,’ it was clear to us that this is an act to suppress his voice.

Unfortunately, this is not the only instance of our suppression. Time and again it has happened that students try to complain but their grievances go unheard.

Even in this case, when students came out on the streets in support of their professor, we got selective emails from the administration asking us to reveal the names of the people who participated. If we don’t reply to the mail, they said it would automatically be considered that we have attended the protest.

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All this shows that the administration is interested in anything other than the welfare of the students or the institution. We strongly believe that the allegations against him are wrong. Besides, even if they were true, the decision for termination has been blown out of proportion. We demand an unbiased and fair investigation into all the charges against him.

(The Quint has reached out to IIT Guwahati for a response. A media statement posted on IIT Guwahati’s website on 21 November reads “IIT Guwahati wishes to clarify that the ongoing disciplinary proceedings against Dr BK Rai, Assistant Professor in the EEE Department, are to investigate the violations of code of conduct rules of the institute and several complaints received against him. No decision on his employment has been communicated to Dr BK Rai till date from the institute.”)

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