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Why is this professor not allowed to teach?

May 12, 2016 10:50 IST

Over 200 teachers from across India and abroad have written to Delhi University's vice-chancellor asking him to revoke Professor G N Saibaba's suspension so that he can rejoin his college.
Rashme Sehgal reports for

GN Saibaba's harassment continues unabated with the principal of Delhi's Ram Lal Anand College showing an apparent disinclination toward the professor's application to rejoin the faculty.

Dr Saibaba, who teaches English, suffers from 90 per cent disability. He was arrested by the Maharashtra police for alleged Maoist links, but was released from Nagpur prison following a Supreme Court order issued on April 4, whereby he was granted unconditional bail.

Dr Saibaba arrived in Delhi on April 8 and immediately informed the college principal of his desire to rejoin duty at the college at the earliest.

Professor Saibaba's letter sent on April 8, read: 'This is to inform you that I was released from detention on April 7 following the Supreme Court order date April 4 2016. As I have been suffering from health problems, I will go in for a medical check up in the next two to three days and I shall see you in your office as soon as possible.'

Professor Saibaba received a reply from the college asking him to submit all his papers adding that there should be no gaps in service.

The principal also informed Dr Saibaba that a decision on his rejoining would be taken by the college's governing body as 'this decision was not in his hands.' Another teacher at the college pointed out that the principal is also a member of the governing body.

The governing body asked Umesh Sharma -- a member of the governing body of two other Delhi colleges -- to look into Professor Saibaba's case.

According to Delhi University rules, a person is not permitted to be a member of three governing bodies concurrently.

Professor Saibaba made his way to his college on April 22 only to be disallowed an interaction with students in the English literature department.

A group of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists gherao-ed him and accused him of being a 'terrorist' and of being 'anti-national.'

The principal sent Professor Saibaba a letter scolding him for entering the college without the governing body's prior permission.

The principal's letter asked how he had entered the classroom to hold an interactive session with the students, video clips of which were posted on social media.

'The governing body has taken a serious note of your aforementioned unauthorised conduct of entering the classroom during your suspension without any written permission from the competent authority,' the letter stated.

'You are hereby asked not to enter the college except the office area with the college administration's permission as this creates law and order problems. Violation of this will be treated as misconduct and interference in the activities of the college and you shall be further liable for actions for the same,' the letter warned Professor Saibaba.

Umesh Sharma -- the one-man committee appointed by the college management to examine Professor Saibaba's case -- has issued a letter asking for his medical records and information regarding his foreign travels which Dr Saibaba believes is another form of harassment.

Over 200 teachers from across India and abroad have written to Delhi University's vice-chancellor asking him to revoke Professor Saibaba's suspension so that he can rejoin his college.

'We appeal to you to intervene and reinstate Dr Saibaba without any further delay as you are the head of the university under which Ram Lal Anand College is directly maintained as a department according to the university ordinances,' the letter states.

'Further, the highly reprehensible orders such as banning the entry of a permanent employee under temporary suspension must be dealt with firm action are taken against the hooligans who attacked and abused Dr Saibaba in full public view,' the letter added.

Teachers from Oxford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of New Mexico, Stanford University, universities in Brazil and South Africa as also professors from colleges in Delhi have signed this letter.

Professor Saibaba also points out that he is facing financial pressure. 'Central government employees under suspension are entitled to receive 75 per cent of their salaries,' the professor said, 'but I have been receiving only 50 per cent. That has created a difficult situation for me financially.'

Rashme Sehgal in New Delhi