JNU renews fellowship of Dalit scholar who threatened suicide

JNU renews fellowship of Dalit scholar who threatened suicide

Jawaharlal Nehru University has released the grants to a Dalit scholar who had sent letters to its former Vice-Chancellor threatening to commit suicide if his fellowship was not renewed for another year.

Alleging that he has been "discriminated and harassed" by his department which was trying to "block his PhD", the Dalit researcher with International Organisation (ORG) division, CIPOD, had written two letters to former V-C S K Sopory and demanded resumption of his fellowship in a week's time threatening he would commit suicide otherwise.

In a separate letter, he had said he was absent from the university for a certain period due to death of four members of his family, including his father and brother. He, however, added as he has resumed his studies, he wants his fellowship to continue.

"JNU administration has spoken to the students and resolved the issue in view of the financial difficulties faced by the student and the unfortunate deaths in his family. His fellowship has been released after adjusting the amount that he had taken as advance for a field trip to Brussels but spent on his grandmother's medical treatment.

"The university will ensure that the student faces no difficulty in submission of his PhD thesis," the varsity said in a press statement. Earlier, the HRD Ministry had asked the varsity to look into the "genuine" grievances of the Dalit scholar and resolve the matter promptly.

Nine more students of the department had claimed that they are being "harassed on the basis of caste". The varsity maintained it is in the process of resolving the issues of the students concerned.

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