IIT-BHU faculty member sacked for turning students 'anti-national'

IIT-BHU faculty member sacked for turning students 'anti-national'

Sandeep Pandey, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California Berkeley, has been removed from the panel of visiting faculty at the IIT-BHU in Uttar Pradesh, on accusation that he was “imbibing” students with Naxal ideology and anti-national thoughts.

The decision, taken by the board of governors (BoG) of the Institute recently, however, sparked a controversy as Pandey came out with a statement, rejecting the accusations made against him, based on which his teaching contract was decided to be discontinued.

“The charges against me are that I am a Naxalite, showed a banned documentary on Nirbhaya case and am involved in anti-national activities. I wish to clarify that I am not a Naxalite. The ideology that I would consider myself closest to is Gandhian,” Pandey stated in his statement.“But I do identify with the causes taken up by Naxalites even though I may not agree with their methods. I also think that it requires a lot of courage and sacrifice to be a Naxalite and I certainly don't have that kind of resolve,” he added.

Chairman of the IIT-BHU G C Tripathy confirmed the decision of the BoG. He, however, expressed his inability to share the exact accusations made at the meeting of BoG, based on which the members decided to terminate the visiting professor’s contract “in the interest of students and the country.”

“The director of the Institute will be able to give details about the issues placed at BoG meeting,” he added.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Pandey charged that Tripathy and Dean of Faculty Affairs, Prof Dhananjay Pandey forced the Institute’s BoG to agree on “premature” termination of his teaching contract.

Pandey, who also identifies himself as a social activist and vice president of the Socialist Party on his twitter account, said he had been teaching at the Institute for last two and a half years under a contract.

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