MADURAI/ VIRUDHUNAGAR: Suspended assistant professor Nirmala Devi, who allegedly lured girl students to do “certain things” at the behest of senior Madurai Kamaraj University officials, was arrested on Monday after police barged into her locked house at Aruppukottai in Virudhunagar district on Monday.
Nirmala Devi’s alleged phone conversation with four girl students of the Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai - recordings of which leaked in social media in the last few days - suggest she had been trying to convince them to meet “certain expectations of the university officials”. As quid pro quo, she had promised support, “both academic and financial”.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Monday appointed R Santhanam, a retired IAS officer, to investigate the matter. Senior AIADMK leader and Minister for Fisheries D Jayakumar said the government had taken a serious view of the issue. “It is unbecoming of a professor to misguide the students. Such black sheep should be weeded out,” he told reporters.
However, the university vice chancellor P P Chellathurai termed it attempt to tarnish the university’s reputation. “Someone acting as the backbone of Nirmala Devi is out to destroy the name of the Madurai Kamarajar University and its officials,” he said.He blamed the college for not informing the university about the incident earlier. “It is my duty to reveal the truth behind the recordings. We have formed a five-member probe team,” he said.
The five-member panel constituted by the Vice Chancellor would have to submit report by April 30 (after the enquiry).While both governor and the university has formed independent enquiries into the issue, Opposition leader M K Stalin has demanded a CBI probe.The assistant professor had told a few TV reporters on Sunday that her conversation with the girl students were misunderstood. But she also did not explain what her actual conversation was about, even as she acknowledged it was her voice.
It is learnt that the girl students had lodged a complaint with the college on March 19. The college had suspended the woman on March 21. But the college did not file a police complaint or as per the vice chancellor, the university was also not informed. The issue came to limelight only after the audio recordings were circulated by unidentified persons in social media in last few days.