The faculty members in the Journalism department recruited two guest lecturers last week after conducting an interview.
Madurai: A woman professor who heads the department of journalism and science communication in Madurai Kamaraj University was stabbed inside her office on Tuesday by a former part-time lecturer of the department who lost his job recently.
Jothi Murugan (33) from Kulamangalam in Madurai, who was also pursuing part-time Ph.D. in film and electronic media studies in the university, confronted the professor S. Jenefa (40) at around 10.30 am. After argument escalated, the former professor stabbed her. As the professor ran out of the room, he chased her. When the professor tripped and fell face down in the corridor, he again stabbed Jenefa on her back.
The injured professor is recovering in hospital. MKU vice-chancellor P.P. Chellathurai told this newspaper that Prof. Jenefa had sustained around 20 stab injuries, but that she was out of danger. “A team of doctors stitched the wounds. They are closely monitoring her progress,” the vice-chancellor said.
The students, who found the professor gasping for breath, had come to her rescue and also caught hold of the assailant and handed him over to the police.
Jothi Murugan had been removed from the part-time job after the students complained to Jenefa that he was not teaching them properly. The decision was arrived at in a departmental meeting, but he misconstrued that the professor was behind the decision, said Chellathurai.
The faculty members in the Journalism department recruited two guest lecturers last week after conducting an interview. When Jothi Murugan learned about this, he developed a grudge against Jenefa.
Mr Murugan had got married recently claiming he had a permanent teaching position in the university, said the police source, adding that he started facing problems from his in-laws after they learned of his current situation. He had been troubling Jenefa for the last few days demanding that she provide him a job, the V-C said.
The police seized a small knife from Jothi Murugan and booked him under 307 (attempt to murder case). Meanwhile, the VC directed the Film and Electronic Media studies department to discontinue his Ph.D. programme. “We could have avoided this incident if the faculty members had informed me about this issue in advance,” said the VC adding that he would soon send a circular to all department heads to immediately alert him if they sense any trouble in handing such problems. Chellathurai said that within a week’s time, he would improve the security system in the campus similar to IIT, Madras.
The students and faculty members visited the hospital and gave moral support to the family members of the professor.