Conversion issue: St Stephen's College revokes suspension of admin officer

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New Delhi, Dec 18: St Stephen's College has revoked the suspension of an administrative officer after acting against him last week for alleged misconduct even as his plea challenging the order is pending before High Court.

The officer, Subhash Kumar Dash, had moved High Court challenging his suspension and accusing St Stephen's principal Valson Thampu of trying to convert him to Christianity. [DU's St Stephen's College Principal forced staffer to convert to Christianity]


"I revoke the suspension order served in order to make room for college Governing Body (GB) to take independent view of the matter pertaining to you (Dash). You shall, hence, rejoin duty with immediate effect," Thampu said in an official communication to Dash yesterday.

The matter is scheduled to be discussed by the GB tomorrow. Dash was suspended by Valson on charges of engaging in "gross misconduct" and sending derogatory and defamatory SMSes to the administration and to the college community under the influence of alcohol.

His petition in High Court, which was listed before Justice Hima Kohli, was yesterday transferred to another bench as the judge recused herself from hearing the matter since she was an alumna of St Stephen's.

"The suspension has been revoked so that the GB can examine the issue with an unbiased perspective," Thampu said.

However, he refused to comment on whether the revocation had come after Dash also sought an injunction against any action by the GB. Meanwhile, Thampu has posted a series of SMSes exchanged between him, Dash and other members of the governing body on the college's website. [Why Mr Subha Kumar Dash was suspended?]

"It does not take any special expertise to know that such SMSes cannot be sent by a man in his senses.

To add insult to injury, he has now accused me of trying to convert him forcibly," Thampu said.

"This is clearly an attempt to communalise the issue and to intimidate me. Communalism is utterly incompatible with the liberal, catholic ethos of St Stephen's College, which shall, in no wise, be compromised," he added.


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