The CSO resigns – end of an era?
The Chief Security Officer of IIT Bombay, retired Lt. Col. Jainendra Kumar resigned office for personal reasons on the 8th of January. At around 6pm on the same day, a committee constituting the Director and the Deputy Directors met. They issued resignation acceptance orders in the next hour. The CSO was relieved of his duties the very next day.
Lt. Col. Kumar is believed to have resigned to take up a job in Dubai. The Registrar Mr. B. Punalkar now assumes temporary charge of the post until a suitable replacement is now found.
After a long time, the institute had seen a CSO from a military background. His tenure was marked by a number of policies and events, such as the Black T-shirt campaign against increased moral policing. It was in the same tenure that a now legendary mail was circulated banning members of the opposite sexes from mingling in “dark isolated places at unearthly hours”. The tenure also saw the policy of disallowing visitors, including VIPs, to the campus after 6pm during Mood Indigo and Techfest. Just prior to the Karsh Kale concert (21 Dec) at Mood-I, Salim Merchant (of Salim-Sulaiman fame) was stopped at the main gate as a result of the same policy. It was only a considerable while later that he could be given entry.
This period saw an increase in the effectiveness of the vigilance unit. A large number of cases of robberies and thefts were solved, with perpetrators being tracked in places as far off as Uttar Pradesh. The vigilance unit also grew potent in dealing with illicit substances on campus, notably alcohol. A huge number of security personnel were felicitated on Republic Day ceremonies for similar contributions.
The Registrar, who now assumes temporary charge, assured InsIghT that civilian-suitability will be given due importance in the interview process. Deputy Registrar Dr. Indu Saxena told InsIghT that the recruitment process would take a minimum of three months. The institute would also be writing to organizations such as the CISF, paramilitary forces and the police machinery which have experience in guarding civilian installations.
Meanwhile, IIT Bombay remains in a state of high-alert against terror attacks, which was triggered post the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Reportedly, a dozen plainclothes CID officials patrolled the campus during Mood Indigo and Techfest to guard against untoward incidents.