Thiruvananthapuram: The head of the Kottayam-based Mahatma Gandhi University's Nano Science and Technology Department has decided to approach the court after he was removed from the post following allegations of casteist harassment by a woman researcher.
Professor Nandakumar Kalarickal on Monday said this case was once disposed of by the court which gave him a clean chit and hence, he will approach the court again.
He reiterated he has not done anything wrong or caused the student any form of duress.
Research scholar Deepa Mohan who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community, had complained that she was facing caste-based harassment from Kalarickal, and has been protesting at the university for nearly two weeks.
The university, in a statement last week, said that Vice-Chancellor Sabu Thomas has removed Kalarickal from the post and taken the charge as he is also a nanoscientist.
However, Mohan alleged that the action against the professor was "just an eyewash" and her demand to dismiss him from the university has not been fulfilled.
Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan also raised this issue in the Assembly on Monday lamenting that Deepa has been facing numerous hurdles in pursuing her higher studies.
"She has been facing a lot of hardships and at one point of time even had to approach the court to get her admission to the laboratory. She has been undergoing a lot of human rights violations and has by now spent six years fighting all this and the government should intervene to help her," Satheesan said.
Replying to Satheesan, SC/ST and Devasom Minister, K. Radhakrishnan, deputising for Higher Education Minister, R. Bindhu said Deepa Mohan's tenure for research got over in 2019.
"But the university gave her permission to continue her research. It was at that time the complaint against Kalarickal was lodged. The Higher Education Minister got involved and Kalarickal was moved out of the post, but she is insisting that he be dismissed from service. Such things can only be done according to the University rules," Radhakrishnan said.
Mohan also said that she was initially denied admission to the PhD course in the Nano Science and Technology Department despite having qualified the GATE exam. She also said that she had successfully passed her MPhil course in 2012 but her certificate was not released till 2015.