Professor of Jodhpur University, suspended over ‘anti-national’ talks at seminar gets court relief

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A professor of the Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, who was nearly sacked after activists of the BJP-linked student group ABVP protested against a seminar she had organised at the University, got some relief from the Rajasthan High court. The court has put a freeze on the suspension of Professor Rajshree Ranawat.

Dr Ranawat, a professor of English, came under fire after she organised a seminar at the university, titled “History Reconstructed through Literature”. At the seminar, held in the first week of February, some controversial remarks were allegedly made by Professor Nivedita Menon, one of the members.

The ABVP, who by their own admission, were not quite sure what Nivedita Menon stated, still went ahead and held protests. President of the ABVP Kunal Singh Bhati, who never went to the workshop, questioned Ms Menon’s remarks based on newspaper reports that said she spoke against Kashmir and lowered the dignity of the Indian Army and Bharat Mata.

Ms Menon, however issued an announcement that her comments were taken out of context and misreported by media..

The university was shut for a day after protests by the ABVP, who filed a police case against Dr Menon and also demanded action against the organisers of the class. The university’s syndicate – highest governing body of the university suspended Dr Ranawat soon after the controversy.

“We have suspended her with quick effect, now we will end her services. The syndicate has the privilege to do this and the syndicate will decide,” said Dr RP Singh, the Vice-Chancellor of the college, told to media.

Dr Ranawat took her battle for justice to the Rajasthan High court, testing her suspension. On Monday, a single bench of Justice Dinesh Mehta put a freeze on her suspension.

The seat communicated surprise that the university had suspended a teacher basically as a specific individual had been welcome to talk at a seminar. It issued notification to all the respondents, Vice Chancellor RP Singh, the Registrar and the University itself and posted the matter for further hearing on April 7.

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