Ask the Indian president to act against Aligarh Muslim University administration now! sign now

Smt Pratibha Patil
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi 110,001

8 April 2010

Madam President,

On behalf of the Integrated Network of Sexual Minorities (INFOSEM), the largest network of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups in India, we urge you to take immediate note of the unnatural death of Dr Srinivas Ramachandra Siras, 64, Reader and Chair of Modern Indian Languages at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), in Aligarh on Thursday, April 7, 2010. We urge you to take immediate steps to get justice for a gentle, law-abiding and dignified professor against the harassment and ill-treatment meted out to him by the Aligarh Muslim University in the weeks leading to his death.

We demand that you --
Immediately suspend the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University till further notice.
Demand a transparent and open autopsy of the body of the late professor to determine the exact nature of the death and the circumstances that caused it.
A sitting judge enquire into the circumstances that led to the unlawful suspension of Dr Siras.
Constitute an enquiry by a sitting judge or by the CBI into the financial dealings of the Vice Chancellor.

INFOSEM demands that as Chancellor of AMU, you must rule that AMU respect the rights of its faculty and students, especially their privacy in matters of sex, sexuality and gender. We hope that these demands are settled through your intervention at the earliest so that justice is not just deemed to be done but also seen to have been done in memory of a helpless and harassed teacher of one of the universities under your jurisdiction.

Regards,
INFOSEM members & friends

Background:
Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras was a professor at Aligharh Muslim University, India. The university suspended him for "misonduct" and "immoral sexual acivity" in the privacy of his home, based on a video where he had been, without consent, filmed having gay sex. The university started an inquiry against him and also forced him out of his university accommodation. Some people on the AMU faculty believe that the University was trying to divert attention from the negative publicity it had received with the recent inquiry ordered by the President of India, Pratibha Patil, after instances of financial bungling and mismanagement came to light. The list of charges against the VC include spending close to Rs2 crore in refurbishing the VCs residence, improper claims of travelling allowances and adoption of improper tendering practices.

The police registered Dr Siras's FIR about the various offences committed against him including criminal intimidation, assault, trespass and wrongful confinement only when pressure was brought upon them. Dr Siras had moved the Allahabad High Court and last week it had stayed his suspension, ordered his reinstatement and the return to him of his accommodation. On 7 April, he was found dead in mysterious circumstances. He had been dead for 2-3 days apparently.

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Lela MaynardBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
The President of India

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