The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) went on strike yesterday to protest against the sacking of two Hindu College professors who were removed due to their alleged ‘indiscipline’. The two teachers, Jai Inder Pal Singh (Physical Education) and Arvind Chaudhary (English) got into an altercation following a disrupted Staff Association Meeting in August 2013. Post the incident, both the teachers were suspended. The suspension lasted for around 16 months during which, the enquiry continued till the report was formed and submitted to the Vice Chancellor.
The DUTA alleges that there were statutory violations by the Governing Body of the college which intervened in the event and suspended the teachers. According to a press release by DUTA, “The College’s governing body did not allow the Staff Council’s Administrative Affairs and Grievance Committee (AAGC) to resolve the issue arising between teachers in any amicable manner whatsoever.” DUTA also claims that there had been arbitrary use of power by the board chairman in taking the final decision of sacking the professors.
A day before the strike, the registrar of the University warned the agitating teachers against striking by sighting an order of the High Court and declaring no pay for the day for teachers who would go on strike. The DUTA called this warning ‘draconian’, saying it maintained that the HC’s interim order was passed in the specific context of the anti-semester protests and holds no bearing on the present situation. A similar ‘No Work No Pay’ situation had occurred before in 2012 when the teachers who went on strike had no pay for the strike day.
DUTA along with members of Karnti Yuva Sangathan collected at the Arts Faculty at eleven in the morning and marched to the Vice Chancellor’s Office. Ripples of the DUTA strike were felt all over the University. For instance, an internal examination for the students of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College was dramatically cancelled. After the exam had begun, teachers who were a part of the protest walked into the classroom and declared the exam cancelled.
Featured image credits: www.duta-du.info