New Delhi, Feb 3: The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) here has formed a committee to probe allegations of "casteist" remarks against students belonging to the SC and ST community and has asked for a report within three weeks.
The committee was set up after a group of students, including those from SC and ST community, approached authorities alleging that "ill will" and "hatred" against them was being spread by some of their peers after they protested over Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide.
In letters to the Social Justice Ministry and the Tribal Ministry, 17 students have complained against certain social media posts that first appeared on January 18.
The students subsequently threatened legal recourse stating that due to the "prevailing tension" they are not able to focus on studies. Anurag Mishra, IIMC OSD, refused to comment when asked about the allegations.
However, a faculty member said that a five-member committee, including representatives from the students' side, was formed yesterday in a meeting where "both the grieving parties were heard out". It has been given three weeks time to submit a report on the issue.
The IIMC, run by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, will hold its annual convocation on February 5. When contacted, one of the students who has been complained against, said that "personal revenge" was being taken against him "misusing" constitutional protection granted to SC and ST community people.
"I have apologised for the post although initially I was not ready to do so. In the region where I come from, words I used in the post are not regarded offensive at all. A propaganda has been unleashed against me," the student said.
The complainant students have told the authorities that "comments are being passed and remarks made loud" when they pass through the corridors in the college and hostels since they raised the matter. "In the campus there is an air of worry...We hereby expect proactive action by our able faculties to ensure harmony and amicability on campus as assured," they wrote.
"We would beg to request a slot in the academic timetable to be allocated for sensitising of all the students by experts in the field of Caste/Tribe reality and affirmative action, to promote amicability and inclusivity on campus," they added.
Last month, a group of students had organised a protest meet inside the campus over the suicide of Hyderabad University Dalit student Rohith Vemula.