A senior faculty of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) resigned on Friday, alleging that he was “targeted” for supporting protests over Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide, the JNU row and FTII issues.
Amit Sengupta, an associate professor in English Journalism, quit after an order was issued transferring him to the premier media school’s campus in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district, which he slammed as a “political decision”.
In an open letter posted on Facebook and addressed to the officer on special duty Anurag Mishra, Sengupta said, “I have been targeted because I supported the solidarity protest for Rohith Vemula on the campus, organised independently by students of IIMC in which other faculty members too participated...I have been targeted also because I supported the JNU and FTII students.”
Mishra refuted the allegations. He said Sengupta may have submitted his resignation but his transfer was a routine affair as per the government policies. “We believe in freedom of speech and Sengupta’s post on the social media is a testimony to that fact. Further being a government organisation, officials/faculty staff are regularly transferred,” said Mishra.
He said Sengupta was transferred because the Dhenkenal centre had only one faculty of English Journalism.
Sources said the final call on Sengupta’s resignation would be taken by the appointing authority.
Earlier in the day, Sengupta posted his resignation on social media and said: “I am proud of standing up for Rohith Vemula and will continue to do so in the days to come. This is my constitutional right. I think grave injustice has been done to him and the students of Hyderabad Central University. I will always stand and fight for Dalit rights,” read the letter.
The institute had earlier conducted a probe and ordered the expulsion of a student from its hostel in New Delhi for three weeks for posting “offensive and insulting” remarks on social media against Dalit students.
Incidentally, a Dalit student and the complainant in the previous case, was also suspended from the IIMC hostel for a week for allegedly using “indecent and vulgar language” against a faculty member on a WhatsApp group.