JNU teachers protest suspension of professor

JNU teachers protest suspension of professor

VP of JNUTA faces graft charges in LTA claim

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Thursday held a protest on the campus against the university administration over the suspension of a faculty member on charges of irregularities in reimbursement of health expenses and leave travel concession (LTC) claim.

Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar ordered suspension of Ashish Agnihotri, an associate professor and vice president of JNUTA, recently, disposing of a three-year-old case against him. 

The associate professor was accused of declaring his parents as “dependents” and seeking reimbursement of their health expenses as well as claiming LTC despite his father’s pension as a government servant.

Against the move, the JNUTA took out a protest march in the campus, demanding immediate revocation of the vice chancellor’s order for Agnihotri’s suspension.

A delegation of the teachers association later met the Rector Chintamani Mahapatra, pressing for their demand.

Mahapatra told the JNUTA delegation that executive council of the university will take a decision on the Agnihotri’s case.

The JNUTA president Ajay Patnaik termed the university action as ‘witch hunt’ but made it clear it had no connection with the recent row over the February 9 Afzal Guru event in the campus which saw six leftist students being booked on charge of sedition and subsequent protests by students and teachers.

“We don’t see any connection between the Afzal Guru row in the campus and vice chancellor’s order for Agnihotri’s suspension. The case against the associate professor is old. It’s going on since 2013,” he told DH.

The JNUTA members protested against the vice chancellor’s order for suspension of Agnihotri because such an action against the associate professor was not ‘required’, he said.

‘Witch hunt’,
On why then he describes the university action against Agnihotri as ‘witch hunt’, Patnaik maintained university administration was targeting the JNUTA vice president because he was ‘very active’ in matters pertaining the teachers association.

It (reimbursements of health expenses and LTC claim) was an inadvertent mistake on his part because he was under an impression that parents can be shown as dependent,” he added.

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