Gay community demands probe in AMU teacher's death | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gay community demands probe in AMU teacher's death

delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2010 17:40 IST

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The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community and social activists on Thursday demanded an impartial investigation into the mysterious death of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor S R Siras, who was earlier suspended on charges of "gross misconduct" on campus following his homosexual act with a rickshaw puller.

Siras was found dead in his home on Wednesday with blood oozing out of his mouth.

A statement by a coalition of NGOs working for gay rights and others said: "We, as concerned citizens -- and for many of us, as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Indians ourselves -- express our shock, outrage and deep sadness at the loss of a teacher, a loyal member of the AMU community, a gay man, and a kind, gentle soul".

"Dr Siras' suspension had provoked outrage from countless citizens across the country. He had challenged the AMU administration in the Allahabad High Court. Just this past week, the court stayed his suspension and his unlawful removal from his official accommodation," according to the the statement

The signatories included representatives from organisations like the Naz Foundation, Saheli, Nigah, Voices Against Section 377, and Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action (LABIA, Mumbai) among others.

Quoting Siras after the order, the statement added: "I am happy because I have been judged in a wrong way. I have already said that I am gay. I am the same man, with the same qualifications, with the same features and personality. Now I can go back to my beloved university".

Siras was the chairman of the Modern Indian Languages department at the AMU and was to retire in September.

"We demand that the police conduct a full, fair and impartial investigation into the cause of death. A step in the right direction has been taken by sending his body for a post-mortem examination. The results of this examination must be made public immediately," the statement said.

"That Dr Siras had to undergo the trauma, fear, harassment and humiliation in his own beloved university in what would turn out to be his last weeks is condemnable. If these events and that trauma are in any way linked to his death, then all actors involved must be held culpable," it added.