BeyondHeadlines News Desk
The vibrant atmosphere of The English and Foreign Languages University is disturbed by sudden suicide of a Kashmiri research Scholar Mudasir Kamran. Mudasir’s suicide is an event that has shaken the entire student community of EFLU. Student protesting for the past thirteen days, but the Vice-Chancellor has refused to address any concerns. The entire student community boycotted classes for more than a week. Now EFLU student write a letter to president for institute an impartial Judicial Inquiry in to the Death of Mudasir Kamran.
Here is the full text of letter from Struggle Committee for Justice for Mudasir Kamran to President of India:
Shri Pranab Mukherjee
The President of India;
Visitor, English & Foreign Languages University Request to set up an independent inquiry into the role of the Univerisity administration in the circumstances that led to the suicide of Mudasir Kamran, a PhD student of EFL University.
It is with a sense of shock and dismay that we are writing to you on behalf of the entire student community of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, seeking your urgent and immediate intervention to resolve the crisis following the suicide of Mudasir Kamaran, a PhD scholar from Kashmir, on March 02, 2013. The circumstances that led to Mudasir’s suicide are shrouded in mystery, and the University administration has not only been evasive in taking steps to bring out the facts, but also has been distorting the facts and spreading rumours and falsehood in order to cover up the issue and avoid fixing liability on the University officials who seem to have been instrumental in Mudasir Kamran’s suicide through their acts of omission and commission.
Sir, it is not possible for us to go into all the details of the case in this representation, but we have attached a detailed report on the incident prepared by the members of the Struggle Committee for Justice for Mudasir Kamran for your kind perusal. We would like to place the following facts for your immediate attention:
1. Mudasir’s suicide is an event that has shaken the entire student community of EFLU. We have been protesting for the past ten days, but the Vice-Chancellor has refused to address any of our concerns. The entire student community boycotted classes for more than a week.
2. Mudasir was taken to the Osmania University Police Station detained for some time on the night prior to his unfortunate suicide. There is ample evidence to show that the University Proctor made statements questioning Mudasir’s mental stability and also abused him in front of other students. In a meeting with the students that has been videographed, the Vice-Chancellor has also conceded that the Proctor had a role to play in this, although she along with the police is trying to shield him now.
3. Students who were with Mudasir after his release from the police station report that Mudasir was crying inconsolably all through that night and the next day as he was mentally tormented at the abuse and insult that he suffered from the University Proctor and the police. The next day evening he was seen hanging in his room. We are sorry to say that there was no effort made by the University officials or administration to counsel Mudasir or to take any steps to ensure that nothing untoward happened to him.
4. Although an FIR u/S. 306 of IPC is registered against the Proctor (for abetment of suicide) in the Osmania University Police station following the complaint lodged by a group of students, no action has been taken by the police. Instead of investigating the circumstances that led to Mudasir’s death, the Vice-Chancellor, in collusion with the police has been actively campaigning against Mudasir in order to cover up the lapses on the part of the University administration. The Vice-Chancellor also brushed aside the student’s legitimate demand that the Proctor should step down and that there should be an independent and impartial inquiry into the whole matter. We are sad to say that the conduct of the Vice-Chancellor after the event has not been becoming of the head of a Central University, where students from all over India who belong to various communities and regions come together to study.
5. It is extremely important to ensure that there is transparency about the events behind Mudasir’s suicide and that it is handled with utmost sensitivity. Sir, “sensitivity”, we hope you will agree, cannot be shown by trying to hide and distort facts or by refusing to shoulder responsibility and fix liability. Transparency and sensitivity become all the more imperative when the administration is dealing with students from vulnerable circumstances, be it Dalit, Adivasi, Bahujan, or religious, regional and sexual minorities. The instant case, we feel, has instilled a sense of fear and insecurity in the minds of hundreds of Kashmiri students studying in various institutes of Hyderabad.
6. Any internal inquiry set up by the Vice-Chancellor will only be a farce. It is unlikely to expect the truth to be established by a committee set up by the University. The University’s malicious attempt to conceal facts and spread canards about Mudasir has been exposed by the newspapers. In a report on March 14, 2013 in Times of India, it is claimed that Mudasir Kamran wrote three complaints to the Proctor between February 4 and 15, 2013, where he even makes reference to explicit threats to his life from some other students. This shows that there is more than mere negligence on the part of the University administration. By willfully suppressing this fact, the University administration seems to be actively engaged in distortion and character assassination of Mudasir. Therefore, a committee set up by the Vice-Chancellor will be meaningless.
7. It is a matter of grave concern that this is the fourth death occurring on the campus of EFLU, which is only five years old as a Central University. Among the four who died, one student was a Dalit, another one from OBC, and now Mudasir a Muslim from Kashmir. Among the four deaths, three of them are instances of suicide. Sir, as the Visitor of the University, I hope you will be able to understand the fear psychosis that is created in the minds of the students regarding the well being of the students from vulnerable sections.
Sir, we request you to exercise the power vested in you under Section 9(2) of the English and Foreign Languages Act, 2006 (7 of 2007) and take immediate steps to institute an impartial judicial inquiry into the role of the University authorities including the Proctor, the CPD authorities, and the Vice-Chancellor in the events prior to and subsequent to the tragic suicide of Mudasir Kamran. Given that no such inquiry can be successfully conducted while the Vice-Chancellor and the Proctor are holding their offices, we also request you ensure that the Vice-Chancellor and the Proctor are suspended till the completion of the said inquiry.
Let us also take this opportunity to put forward the demands that we have been raising:
1. An impartial judicial inquiry should be instituted immediately.
2. The Vice-Chancellor and the University Proctor should be suspended pending inquiry.
3. The University should earmark a specific amount of money to pay compensation to Mudasir’s family. There is a precedence of this when EFLU gave compensation to the family of Muthyam, a student who died in 2010 on campus due to administrative negligence in providing medical help. In another incident, the University of Hyderabad paid compensation to Senthil Kumar, a Dalit student who committed suicide.
4. Structural changes must be made and institutional support systems set up to address the emotional and psychological needs of students, especially those who come from minority or backward communities or conflicted regions.
5. There should be a written apology from the University administration to the members of the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
Sir, we hope you will recognize the gravity of the situation and take necessary steps to alleviate our apprehensions. We thank you and look forward to a favourable and speedy response from you.
(Sathish Naina PhD)
For Struggle Committee for Justice for Mudasir Kamran
1. Shri Pallam Raju, Minister for HRD, Government of India.
2. Professor Ved Prakash, Chairman, UGC.
3. Professor Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor, EFL University, Hyderabad.