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Rajasthan: 2 from faculty held for ‘harassing’ Dalit PhD student

The Rajasthan Central University. (File photo) Dean of Students Welfare R L Meena had backed Jonwal’s allegations against the university administration in January.

Four months after an FIR was registered against the vice-chancellor and other faculty members of the Central University of Rajasthan following complaints of harassment by a Dalit PhD scholar, two faculty members were arrested on Friday evening.

Confirming that Dr Jagdish Jadhav, Head of the Department, Social Work, and Atiq Ahmad from the same faculty were arrested, Bandarsindri police station SHO Shivraj Singh said, “They will be presented before a magistrate tomorrow.”

Besides Jadhav and Ahmad, the FIR filed in January had named six others: the present and former V-C, dean (academics), and the varsity’s chief vigilance officer, among others. The FIR was registered after a court’s direction on a complaint lodged by PhD scholar Umesh Kumar Jonwal.

Expelled in October last year, Jonwal had accused the university administration of discrimination and harassment owing to his caste identity. He had alleged that his HoD, Jadhav, had sought money from him and made him clean drains in rural areas as part of a social work project. “When I raised objection, the professor abused me and called me names,” Jonwal told The Indian Express.

The FIR was registered at Bandarsindri police station, near Ajmer where the university is located, under different IPC Sections and SC/ST Act.

Dean of Students Welfare R L Meena had backed Jonwal’s allegations against the university administration in January. He said the university administration took the decision to expel Jonwal based on an arbitrary inquiry committee report, which comprised faculty members who are facing the allegations.

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