Dalit groups step up protest against Calicut varsity’s reservation norms

Social activist Sunny M. Kapikkad opening a protest outside the University of Calicut at Tenhipalam in Malappuram on Monday.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement 

A group of Dalit organisations under the aegis of the Forum for Social Justice staged a token protest on Monday outside the University of Calicut campus at Tenhipalam in Malappuram against the alleged violation of reservation norms in the appointment of faculty members in its teaching departments.

Functionaries of the organisations claimed that T.S. Shyam Kumar, S. Thara, and Suresh Puthanparambil, who had applied to the post of assistant professor, were denied appointment due to the faulty reservation roster prepared by the university. They pointed out that the Supreme Court of India recently directed the university to appoint K.P. Anupama, an applicant who suffered a similar fate, after rejecting the university’s reservation roster. Ms. Anupama was appointed in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication thereafter.

It was pointed out that the apex court order was applicable in the case of Mr. Shyam Kumar, Ms. Thara and Mr. Suresh as well. The Kerala State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes issued a directive for the purpose recently.

Opening the protest, social activist and commentator Sunny M. Kapikkad said that the university’s reservation criteria had already been rejected by the Supreme Court in Ms. Anupama’s case. He said that the university should implement the reservation rotation according to rules 14 to 17 of the Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules. Mr. Shyam Kumar, Ms. Thara, and Mr. Suresh should be appointed in the post of assistant professor, he added.

The forum’s demands include appointment of Dalit applicants in line with the directives of the Supreme Court and the State SC/ST panel, uploading of reserved posts on the website, and the clearing of backlog vacancies. The Dalit organisations are planning to organise a public convention in Kozhikode by mid-November and take out a march to the university later. Forum functionaries O.P. Raveendran and K. Santhosh Kumar, among others, were present.

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