The Gay Activists Association, a leading association for gay rights, will fight the case of SR Siras, professor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), who has been suspended for an allegedly homosexual act in his official residence on the AMU campus on Monday.
Anupam Suri, the regional president of the association (north India), said the suspension order and Siras’s removal from the chairmanship of AMU’s Modern Indian Language Department is illegal as the Delhi High Court had struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, thus, decriminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults.
Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor P.K. Abdul Azis had, on Monday, suspended Siras (64) for his alleged “misconduct” on campus. His alleged partner was an adult rickshaw puller.
Siras, separated from his wife for over eight years, had been living alone on campus. AMU authorities have told him to vacate his official residence.
“I will leave Aligarh and return to Nagpur, my hometown,” he said.
During the day, Siras, for the first time, also criticised his suspension. “When the high court has decriminalised homosexuality, how can the university level such charge against me? In any case, the charge is absurd,” he said.
Rahat Abrar, official spokesman for AMU, said the authorities had received on Siras on February 8. These persons also submitted a video clip on the alleged act, which took place on February 6, to the VC’s office.
Civil rights activists and lawyers have condemned the affair. “It is completely outrageous and illegal to breach someone’s privacy in such a way,” said lawyer Anand Grover, who fought against Section 377 of IPC.