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SC/ST Commission recommends action against lecturer in Chennai college

The Tamil Nadu State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (TNSCSCST) has recommended to the government to initiate disciplinary action against a lecturer of Government Fine Arts College in Chennai over a complaint of alleged discrimination against a colleague on caste lines.

Acting on a complaint by J. Panneerselvam, who is an assistant in the college, the Commission recommended disciplinary action against senior lecturer K. Pugazhenthi and officials who were involved in the "revenge" against the complainant.

The complainant alleged that Mr. Pugazhenthi intentionally ignored the anti-caste pledge (which Mr. Panneerselvam administered) on January 29, 2021 as well as on January 29, 2022. Since he made a complaint, Mr. Pugazhenthi, along with Joint Director Siva Soundaravalli in Arts and Culture Department, acted against him.

Mr. Panneerselvam alleged that both of them conspired against him and demoted him to a junior post and further transferred him out of the college. "Only because I belong to the Scheduled Caste [Arundhathiyar], I was demoted and transferred," he charged.

After the Commission sought details of the incident, the principal of the college appeared before it on September 6 and produced a report, which confirmed the complaint made by Mr. Panneerselvam, the Commission said in a press release. The principal’s report said that the accused had acted against the complainant from a ‘personal bias’, it said.

Soon after a complaint was lodged in the Commission, the accused withdrew the transfer order, it observed.

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