Tension was palpable on the campus of Delhi Technological University (DTU) on Thursday, as the authorities suspended two lecturers for “instigating students”.
The university campus has been declared out of bounds for the suspended lecturers and they are also not allowed to leave the city without permission from the Vice-Chancellor.
This is the second instance of punitive action initiated by the authorities in the last one week.
On March 5, the varsity had expelled two students on grounds of indiscipline.
Students of the DTU have been boycotting classes and staging demonstration since March 4 to register their protest against the conversion of their institution from a college affiliated to Delhi University (then known as Delhi College of Engineering) to a state university.
Disassociation with DU, students feel, would dilute the reputation and brand of the college.
Lecturers N.K. Bhagat of Electrical Engineering and Naresh Kumar of Civil Engineering department had supported the agitation by leading a candle light march and going on hunger strike on Wednesday, respectively.
The suspension, however, is not for a definite term.
According to Vice-Chancellor P.B. Sharma, their orders will only be revoked after they are “cleared by an enquiry committee”.
HT could not contact Kumar. Bhagat refused to comment on his suspension.
The mood on the campus on Thursday was tense as there was heavy deployment of police at the campus gates and students alleged that the Internet (wi-fi) facility was disabled in a bid to partially cut off communication with people outside. The canteen of the mechanical engineering department was also closed early.
“The authorities are bent on gagging those who have raised their voice against them. If they keep cracking down on us like this, then teachers will have no choice but to leave this institution,” said a teacher on conditions of anonymity.
“The agitators have completely vitiated the academic environment. I had given Naresh Kumar a full hearing. He promised in writing that he would not go on strike and then did just that,” said the V-C.