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JNU Professor accuses the university of harassment over her Muslim identity, university denies the allegations

In her complaint, the Muslim woman professor has alleged "systematic harassment" by the JNU administration, especially by the Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy where she is a teacher under a University Grants Commission-funded scheme.

After a professor accused discrimination by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) over her Muslim identity, the Delhi Minorities Commission has sprung into action issuing a notice to the university even as it vehemently denied the allegations levelled by the professor. The panel has asked the university Registrar to respond by August 1, failing which a case will be registered against him, the Vice-Chancellor and the Chairperson of the University.

Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by the female professor, the notice and an interim order were issued to the varsity’s Registrar. In her complaint, the Muslim woman professor has alleged “systematic harassment” by the JNU administration, especially by the Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy where she is a teacher under a University Grants Commission-funded scheme.

In the complaint, the professor has asserted she has sufficient proofs to establish that indiscrimination was meted out to her due to her Muslim identity. She has claimed that her salary, since the month of April, was withheld without offering her legal reasons for the same. She also alleged she was neither assigned the classes nor the opportunity to oversee MPhil and PhD students. The notice also mentions that she is not allowed to attend the Centre faculty meetings and precluded from using the official internet and email id.

According to the Delhi Minority Commission (DMC), the professor has alleged that her profile is not uploaded on the JNU website.

“Not content with all this, the JNU administration is pressurising her to vacate her accommodation on the campus. Before joining JNU in 2013, the complainant served Hyderabad Central University for four years as a permanent faculty member,” the notice said.

The complainant insisted the university has plans to finally “kick her out” claiming that she does no work.

However, the varsity officials have vehemently refuted her allegations. “She is serving in the university as part of a planned project by UGC and is not a permanent employee of the varsity. Her remuneration is granted by the UGC and not by the varsity. The UGC had withheld her salary but now they have released it and she has been paid,” an official said.

The complainant has told the DMC that she has been harassed to such an extent that she is contemplating committing suicide and is afraid of Najeeb Ahmed’s fate, the JNU student who went missing on October 15, 2016.

The DMC has issued an interim order to the Registrar to put an end to any sort of harassment of the complainant. In addition, it has directed that Registrar release her arrears by July 26 and systematise future salary payments during her tenure.

“JNU administration has also been limited from withdrawing the housing facility enjoyed by the complainant on the university campus during her tenure at JNU,” the DMC added.

The commission has also instructed the Station House Officer of Vasant Kunj police station to abstain from granting any police assistance to oust the complainant from her accommodation within the JNU campus.

Last year the Delhi High Court had ordered the JNU to clear the salaries of two professors from the same department in JNU, Kaustav Banerjee and Rosina Nasir, after they had alleged that the salaries were not paid for a year. Banerjee had left the university after that. It is not sure whether Rosina Nasir is the complainant this time also. According to JNU website, there are 2 woman professors in the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy under the School of Social Sciences, Anuja and Rosina Nasir.

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