Rizvi college professor sacked for sending inappropriate messages to students
mid-day impact >> Following weeks of dawdling by Rizvi architecture college in Bandra, this paper's report jolts authorities into action; vice-principal too asked to step down
Two days after mid-day's report on Rizvi College of Architecture students protesting against two faculty members over alleged harassment of female pupils, the Bandra institute's management has swung into action. While one has been asked to leave the college, another has been asked to step down from the post of vice-principal.
The college has also decided to set up a students' grievance committee comprising senior professors to help pupils with their issues. Students are happy with management's action and feel that their month-long struggle has finally paid off.
"The management has taken serious cognisance of students' complaints. Professor [Mohin] Merchant has been asked to leave and Professor [Ejaz] Kashmiri has been asked to step down as vice-principal. The action was taken following a report submitted by the inquiry committee formed by the management after students submitted their complaint letters," said Dr Shruti Barve, principal.
As many as 300 students of Rizvi College of Architecture submitted complaints, after which the college management swung into action
Up in arms
mid-day had reported on Saturday how 300 students had come together against the alleged mental harassment by Profs Mohin Merchant and Ejaz Kashmiri. They had complained that both faculty members had been indulging in favouritism, keeping grudges during the evaluation process as well as commenting on physical attributes, personal lives and habits of the students.
A female student had even alleged that Prof Merchant had sent her inappropriate messages at odd hours and commented on her clothes and personal life. Students had begun their protest by wearing black to college, and later, put up several posters on campus, demanding justice and unbiased hearing of their complaints.
Following multiple complaint letters, submitted by 300 students, the management formed a committee to inquire into the cases and submit a report. The committee was expected to submit the report in 15 days, but the lack of it, as well as no action, had frustrated the students more. Most were scared because of exams next month, expecting backlash from the two professors they had been protesting against.
'No tension now'
Barve assured, "Students need not worry of any unfair means in college now. The management has decided to form a dedicated students' grievance cell comprising five senior professors. Any student with any problem can approach this cell immediately. We won't have to wait for issues to pile up... There is no hostile or tensed atmosphere in the college anymore."
Jubilant students are satisfied with management's action. "This really has come as good news for us and our parents, who supported us in the struggle. The management has finally taken a decision that will re-instill our faith in the administration," said one of the protesting students.
Another said, "The new principal has been of great help; she stood with us throughout." While Prof Merchant remained unavailable for comment, Prof Kashimiri told mid-day, "I respect the management's decision."
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