Hundreds of teachers, non-teaching employees and students, including those from Bhagini Nivedita College, participated in a dharna held under the banner of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), at the Arts Faculty Gate, to demand immediate action against the Principal of Bhagini Nivedita College, Dr. Purabi Saikia, who through continued misgovernance, and open confrontation with and defiance of the decisions of the Governing Body, has created a serious crisis in the College.
The dharna was addressed by DUTA activists from across the University, the President of DUCKU, President of non-teaching SC/ST Association, President and Office bearers of B.N.College Staff Association, students and non-teaching staff of B.N.Colllege, residents of Khair village whose wards had experienced first-hand the corruption, victimisation and terror unleashed by Dr Purabi Saikia in the last five years. One resident, Shri Pramod Yadav, whose wife had been a non-teaching employee of the college, alleged that he had been asked by Purabi Saikia for Rs. 5 lakhs as a bribe for ensuring her regularisation, but neither was she regularised nor was the money returned, following which Shri Yadav demanded an enquiry into the entire matter and lodged an FIR against her on the direction of the Hon’ble Court. However, due to her protection by University authorities and other powerful contacts, the police has not been conducting the investigation seriously.
A White Paper prepared by the college Staff Association and adopted by the DUTA Executive, had been forwarded to the newly-elected Chairperson of the GB, Shri Ajay Rai, whom the DUTA Office Bearers met to urge an enquiry into all charges, pending which she should be sent on leave. He has assured full transparency and investigation into all charges. Today, the Bhagini Nivedita College Teachers and Non-Teaching Association released a Charge-Sheet, that includes charges of financial irregularities, bribery, engineering physical attacks, false complaints of sexual harassment against dissenting employees, manipulating records, bypassing inconvenient teachers whose turn had come for membership of the GB, victimisation of the teachers and students of Deptt of Physical Education, (three of whom were rusticated and physically confined for more than four hours for taking of a mobile recording of a conversation with her and refusing to write false complaints against their teacher), imposing biometric attendance illegally and exploiting and persecuting ad-hoc teachers.
Recently, the Principal refused to implement the decision of the GB to restore the position of the senior teacher, Dr. Uma Nijhawan, as member of the GB by rotation as per rules. She continued to defy the Chairman of the GB, refused to circulate agenda papers for the next meeting, took unauthorised leave on the day of the meeting, and had all the rooms locked to prevent the meeting of the GB from taking place. This unabashed dereliction of duty and confrontation with the GB has led to a serious crisis and breakdown in the governance of the college. To restore the normal functioning of the administration as per the rule of law, it is imperative to suspend the Principal immediately and set up an independent enquiry into all the charges against her.The DUTA will take this demand up with the Governing Body, the Delhi Govt and the new Vice Chancellor. The agitation will continue until the demand is met