Students hold rasta roko at Kalina campus, raise slogans against the autocratic action of the Varsity and demand withdrawal of his supension and respectful reinstatement


Mumbai : Students held a rasta roko at the Kalina campus of Mumbai University on Monday in protest against the suspension of Professor Neeraj Hatekar from the Department of Economics. 

Some 200 students barricaded the gate. Meanwhile, Hatekar who has been suspended for maligning the University’s reputation by holding a press conference and providing false information to the media has moved the High Court with his appeal of innocence.
Raising slogans against the autocratic action of the University’s administration, the students demanded withdrawal of Hatekar’s suspension and his respectful appointment to his position.
“The college management and university authorities have falsely fabricated the issue in a disproportionate, one-sided and high handed manner. It is a pre-meditated design to create scare amongst the teachers who raise their voices against the University’s degrading levels. The malafide and biased behaviour of the committee members in collusion with Vice-Chancellor Rajan Velukar, who had approved of the suspension, was part of a larger agenda to create a horror”, said one of Hatekar’s student.
“It is complete autocracy. You are living in Vice-chacellor’s empire. Don’t raise your voice against the ruler or you will be terminated,” said another.
A memorandum was presented which laid emphasis on taking Hatekar back into his position as soon as possible by the students. After three hours of protest and rasta roko, the memorandum was accepted by the University. “They are yet to state their decision, but we will keep on protesting as long as they don’t accept our demand,” said a student.
According to lecturers of several departments, Neeraj Hatekar has been targeted for raising his voice against poor academic as well as administrative performance of the University.
“Hatekar is the convenor of the Joint Action Committee for Improvement of Higher Education in Maharashtra. It is a body that has questioned the appointment of the vice-chancellor, who many staffers have claimed has doubtful academic and publication records,” informed a lecturer from the University.
Lecturers also claimed that it was Hatekar’s RTI that revealed that many of the professors also have dubious certificates as the college to which they claim to belong does not offer PG teaching in their subject.
Another lecturer told FPJ that when the management council formed for discussing Hatekar’s case met, most members supported VC’s claim that Hatekar has degraded the university’s reputation. “Most people on the MC are the VC’s men,” informed an assistant professor.
Professor Neeraj Hatekar has decided to move court against his suspension by Mumbai University for “providing false information to the media”. Hatekar said on Sunday that he “will challenge the suspension in court”.

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