DU teachers demand VC's resignation over toxic cobalt
The Delhi University Teachers Association today demanded a Visitorial inquiry into the auction of radioactive material by the Chemistry department, which led to the death of a scrap worker, and said the Vice Chancellor, Deepak Pental, should step down to enable a fair probe.delhi Updated: Apr 30, 2010 19:16 IST
The Delhi University Teachers Association on Friday demanded a Visitorial inquiry into the auction of radioactive material by the Chemistry department, which led to the death of a scrap worker, and said the Vice Chancellor, Deepak Pental, should step down to enable a fair probe.
The teachers rejected Pental's proposal to set up an inquiry into the matter, arguing that any probe under the university administration will be an "eye-wash."
The radioactive material, Cobalt-60, was first found in west Delhi's Mayapuri and caused one person's death. It was traced to Delhi University's Chemistry Department where it had been lying unused for 25 years.
"We are writing to the President of India seeking a Visitorial inquiry. The President as the Visitor of the institution should constitute a committee of experts to examine the case and fix the blame," said the association's President Aditya Narayan Misra in New Delhi.
Misra said the case requires an impartial inquiry that seems impossible under the supervision of the VC, whose role itself is questionable.
"Any purchase or selling off of equipment takes place only after his due permission. His accepting the moral responsibility is not enough. He should resign immediately, or else his bosses in the HRD (Human Resources Development) Ministry should sack him," Misra said.
The teachers' association said the fact that the trail of such material led to the university is "shameful and unfortunate" and depicted the casual and callous way in which the radioactive equipment was sold to the scrap dealer.
"The VC is trying to protect himself. He will also be protecting others. Let him say he was not aware of the disposal, let him say he is not purchasing equipment for labs," Misra said.