The Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ) has suspended an associate professor for inviting a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor to an event to mark Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary.
Dr Shreya Bhattacharji had invited JNU prof N M Panini, who eventually did not attend the event.
“Prof Panini is considered as mentor of the group of students of JNU, who were involved in anti-national activities in JNU campus recently. As such, the invitation to Prof Panini by Dr Shreya Bhattacharji, without examining his credentials, led to widespread criticism from different quarters of the society as a result of which not only the image of the University was tarnished as well as the reputation of the Vice-Chancellor was put on stake.”
The order also said:
“Invitation to “a person of disputed integrity” had led to Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu cancelling her visit to the university as chief guest for the event. Bhattacharji had invited Panini without informing the V-C, and that her actions amounted to misconduct.”
According to Panini, he was extended an invitation by the V-C as well.
“He only said that there was some agitation by students, which is why they were cancelling it. I probed and asked him if it was because I was from JNU. He said ‘Yes. There’s nothing personal against you but it’s because you are from JNU’. My ticket from Delhi to Bangalore was also cancelled by them later.”
Bhattacharji also held the posts of Dean of School of Language, Dean of School of Education and Dean of Students’ Welfare. As a result, she has been removed from all her responsibilities.