Ex-employee`s death exposes failure of DU`s administration: Teachers

The self-immolation of a former Delhi University employee have exposed the breakdown of the varsity`s grievance-redressal mechanisms, teachers alleged.

New Delhi: The self-immolation of a former Delhi University employee and her subsequent death over "sexual harassment" have exposed the breakdown of the varsity`s grievance-redressal mechanisms, teachers alleged on Tuesday.

Members of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), including its president Nandita Narain, blamed the death of the former lab attendant on the administration`s failure to take timely action.

"The tragic case of the victim should be a wake up call for all those responsible for propping up this rotten administration, whose conduct is bordering on the criminal. The situation in DU is like a bomb waiting to explode.

"Failure to fix responsibility and take urgent systemic corrective measures can lead to an irretrievable breakdown of all that has been good about our university, and will unleash a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions," Narain said.

The 35-year-old former laboratory assistant at Bhim Rao Ambedkar College had set herself on fire outside Delhi Secretariat a week ago. She had received 92 per cent burns and died yesterday at LNJP Hospital here.

The woman in a suicide note had said she was taking the extreme step to protest the alleged physical and mental harassment by Principal G K Arora and another staff of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College in Yamuna Vihar.

The teachers alleged that the victim`s services were terminated on flimsy grounds by Arora.

"The principal terminated the victim`s services in 2012 on flimsy grounds, and without taking it through the college`s governing body. This was done despite there being no complaints against her work," Narain said.

"When even permanent employees are regularly threatened with suspension, wage-cut, break in service, denial of retirement benefits and other forms of victimisation, what would be the fate of 4,000 plus ad-hoc teachers and 5,000 plus contractual employees?" she asked.

The woman had filed complaints against the principal first with a college complaints committee and then with the apex committee of the university, both of which had given clean chit to Arora.

DUTA had yesterday demanded the arrest of Arora for abetment to suicide and his suspension by the university to allow for an impartial probe in the case.

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