COIMBATORE:A PhD research scholar lodged a sexual harassment complaint with the Coimbatore district police against the head of the English department of Bharathiar University on Thursday. A gold medallist during post graduation days, the research scholar alleged that the HoD, who is also a syndicate member, refused to sign the synopsis submission form unless his demands for sexual favours and lakhs of rupees are met.
“I registered for full time PhD in 2010 but could not be present in the department regularly as I fell seriously ill and my registration was cancelled. My husband passed away in 2013. After listening to my woes, the Vice Chancellor was kind enough to allow me to continue with the PhD work in July 2014. After this, though I visited the department regularly, the HoD did not permit me to sign the attendance register. When I took up this issue with authorities concerned, they directed me to meet another professor. When I explained my situation, he told me ruthlessly - “you are a deserving candidate, but you have to adjust; it means many things,” that was also mentioned in her four-page complaint to the additional DSP K Adhiveerapandian, who forwarded it to Perur DSP for enquiry.
Refuting the allegation, the HoD said it was blackmailing tactic by her to get the PhD without fulfilling the norms. “She registered for PhD in April 6, 2010. After a year, on July 4, 2011, her guide wrote to the university recommending cancellation of her registration as she did not come to the department regularly,” he told Express.
“ In July 15, 2014, she approached the Vice Chancellor asking him to allow her to continue the research work on humanitarian grounds. The university allowed her to continue the research on March 24 this year.
On April 11, she asked permission to submit the synopsis without completing the three-year research work norm. With the vested interest of getting the PhD, she has now lodged the sexual harassment complaint.
The university after conducting a thorough enquiry absolved the professor of any wrong doing. University Registrar KG Senthilvasan said in a press release, “ The committee inquired all the persons concerned and verified the records and documents as well. It also inquired the scholar and after the enquiry, she submitted a letter stating that, she regretted and requested the University to allow her to pursue her research. The inquiry committee ruled there is no truth in the allegation against the Professor.”