Civil rights groups in Rajasthan have welcomed the High Court’s intervention in the suspension of a teacher of Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur in connection with a complaint lodged against Prof. Nivedita Menon of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who was accused of making some “anti-national” remarks during a conference last month.‘Panel order not obeyed’Justice Dinesh Mehta at the High Court’s principal seat in Jodhpur on Monday stayed the JNV University’s order of February 16 placing Rajshree Ranawat of the English Department under suspension on charges of not obeying orders of a fact-finding committee by failing to appear before it. Dr. Ranawat had asked the committee to provide her security for deposing in view of the threats issued by a group of students.The single-judge Bench stayed the university syndicate’s decision and issued notices to the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar, seeking their response by the next date of hearing on April 17. “Until further orders, [the] effect and operation of the order dated February 16, 2017, placing the petitioner under suspension will remain stayed,” said the court order. During the hearing, the court expressed surprise that the university had suspended a teacher simply because of her invitation to a particular person to address a conference.The university had set up a three-member panel to conduct an internal inquiry into the episode. Some students and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists had forced the university to shut down for a day while protesting against Prof. Menon’s lecture.The People’s Union for Civil Liberties said it was “extremely pleased” with the High Court’s intervention in the matter. PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava and general secretary Anant Bhatnagar pledged their support to Dr. Ranawat in her struggle for justice and said they would intensify the struggle for academic freedom in all universities and educational institutions.‘Anti-national remarks’The JNV University Registrar and some others had lodged police complaints against Prof. Menon and Dr. Ranawat, alleging that Prof. Menon had made anti-national remarks on Kashmir and the Indian Army at a conference on “History Reconstrued through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture” organised by Dr. Ranawat.