Govt panel submits report on K R Narayanan institute to CM

K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts (KRNNIVSA)
K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts (KRNNIVSA) at Kanjiramattom in Kottayam. File photo: Manorama

A Kerala government-appointed committee to look into the complaints raised by the students of the K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts, Thekkumthala, Kottayam, has submitted its report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The two-member panel consisting of K Jayakumar, former chief secretary, and N K Jayakumar, former vice chancellor, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, submitted the report to the chief minister on Friday (January 13).

The committee collected information from the students, who have been protesting for weeks, teaching and non-teaching staff and members of the governing council of the institute.

The government formed the committee to look into the grievances of the students and a section of the staff after they launched an agitation against the institute's director Shankar Mohan. The allegations against Shankar Mohan includes treating students and staff on the basis of caste discrimination.

It is learnt that the inquiry report suggests the steps to be taken to address the issues relating to the institute. Though Onmanorama contacted both the committee members, they did not reveal the content of the document. The report includes the responses of institute chairman Adoor Gopalakrishnan as well as director Mohan, both of who have been facing the students' anger. Mohan, who has been remaining silent on the allegations, has given oral and written responses to the committee.

The student protest on the institute under the state higher education department has attained huge attention with a section of filmmakers and artistes rallying behind the agitators. Filmmakers Kamal, Ashique Abu, Amal Neerad, Rajeev Ravi, Jeo Baby and Kamal K M are among those who have expressed solidarity with the protesting students. The institute has been remaining shut for two weeks based on an order issued by the district collector to prevent any untoward incident. The authorities have however not forced the students out of the campus.

The protesting students have been organising parallel academic sessions of late in which several filmmakers, who have expressed solidarity with them, have taken part.

The students started the protest after a section of cleaning staff alleged that Mohan and his wife ill-treated them on the basis of caste. The students have also accused the director of violating reservation rules and denying admission to deserving candidates from the backward communities. Adoor Gopalakrishnan has categorically denied all allegations against the administration, especially Mohan. The veteran filmmaker, in interviews to various media, has alleged that vested interests were behind the protest.

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