A student of political science, a French national of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, was manhandled by Madras University staff when he raised questions about flood relief operations at a seminar organised by the educational body, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Jonas Anton Pulendrarasa, a PG student of International Relations at Madras University, questioned IAS officer S.Jothi Nirmala, who was delivering a lecture on ‘Managing disaster: A case study of Chennai Floods 2015.”
Even as Ms. Nirmala tried to answer his questions, senior university staff forced Pulendrarasa to sit down.
Resuming her speech by reiterating that the government machinery was really prepared for any disaster in Chennai, Ms. Nirmala said “there is hue and cry, putting the blame on others. Everybody knows who is responsible. The rains are responsible.”
As Pulendrarasa tried to raise another question , a group of professors beat him up.
Pulendrarasa rushed out of the seminar hall, but was chased by staff members, forcing him to take shelter in the library.
After a few media persons gathered at the library, the staff members prevented them from taking photographs of Pulendrarasa.
“We came to the seminar, wanting to know new aspects of the disaster. As volunteers, we went and helped the flood-affected people in north Chennai and Velachery, learning about the disaster. But officials shared information that was already released in newspapers. So we requested them to tell us something more,” said Pulendrarasa.
The students lodged a complaint with vice chancellor R.Thandavan.