IIT-K suspends professor for hurling abuses at SC/ST students

Kharagpur: About two weeks after an associate professor in Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur hurled abuses at students belonging to scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and physically handicapped communities, the university on Wednesday suspended her.

“A fact-finding committee had been instituted to look into the allegations and has submitted its report. We are now instituting an internal inquiry,” Tamal Nath, IIT Kharagpur registrar told Hindustan Times.

Besides, the national commission for scheduled castes too has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and initiated an inquiry.

Seema Singh, an English professor from the department of humanities and social sciences, triggered a row on discrimination last month when a video of an online class went viral, in which she had abused the SC/ST and PWD students for not standing up for the national anthem and not saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ during the class.

Apart from abuse, she had also threatened the group of marking them ‘zero’ (in the exams).

“This is the minimum you can do for your country…You have to stand up for only two minutes in honor of the national anthem, and you cannot do that? You bloody bastard. This is also on your parents. Do you have any shame? Are you in school, bloody bastards?,” she had said.

She further went on abusing them, and even said: “Go to the Ministry of Woman and Child  Development, go to the Ministry of SC/ST and Minorities, nothing will prevent me from doing what I have to do to you. Is it clear? Hello, bloody bastards, is it clear?”

Many students, alumni, academicians and activists across the country demanded her immediate suspension.

However, after the incident triggered a massive row, Singh apologized to her students in an email. “I am writing this to express my sincerest apology for what happened last week. It was definitely not my intention to hurt anyone… It was never the slightest intention to be discriminatory towards any segment of the student community,” Singh wrote.