Patiala, April 30
The police today booked an assistant professor of Rajindra Medical College for allegedly making cast-based remarks against an MBBS student. The FIR comes ten days after Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, visited Patiala, met the aggrieved student and directed the Patiala police to register a case.
Teaching staff of the college is up in arms against the “one-sided act” of the police.
The police said the FIR was registered against Rajindra Medical College assistant professor Dr Harsimran Singh on the complaint filed by MBBS student Anmolpreet Singh. In his complaint to the police, Anmolpreet stated that the accused professor had passed caste-based remarks against him in front of the entire class.
Following the complaint and a preliminary probe, the police registered a case under Sections 3 (1), (10) of the SC, ST Act 1989 against the accused at the civil lines police station.
Sources said it was only after the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the district police chief to register a case that the accused was booked. They said the accused could be arrested anytime as the sections were non-bailable. However, with over 100 students as witnesses and many of them willing to give their statement in the case, the police might take more time to investigate the matter. “While some students have backed the victim, others have told us a different story,” said a police source.
Patiala SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill said they were investigating the matter and statements of witnesses would be recorded. “It is too early to say anything but we are sure the investigation will be done in an impartial manner,” Gill said.
Teachers from the general category are opposing the registration of the case, claiming that the student was under the influence of a senior professor, who was known for using such tactics to settle personal scores.
Seven similar complaints had been received — three at the medical college and four at Rajindra Hospital. In August 2012, three such complaints were filed by Class IV employees of the hospital. However, following investigations, it was found that none of the complaints were genuine.
“We are for strict punishment against anyone using caste remarks against anyone but it is hard to believe that an assistant professor would use such words in a classroom without a valid reason,” said a senior doctor. “Such cases will cause a rift instead of bridging it and we demand an impartial probe. Till then, those involved in the case should be shifted from their positions so that students are under no pressure,” he said.
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