BENGALURU: It is not just students who have complained about sexual harassment by their teachers at Maharani Arts, Commerce and Management College for Women here. Some faculty members too have made serious allegations against their own colleagues.
Officials of the Department of Collegiate Education, who visited the college on Monday to discuss about the recent alleged sexual harassment cases, were shocked to hear the complaints from teachers.
Speaking to Express, a senior official of the department, said, “Some of the allegations made by the faculty members are serious and criminal in nature. There is a need for a detailed inquiry and we will soon discuss the modalities.”
“It is not just women teachers making complaints against male colleagues. Male teachers too have complaints against their female colleagues,” the official added.
Highly placed sources in the college said there were allegations from teachers like trafficking of girls and honeytrapping.
Department officials say the allegations need to be probed by the police. “They might have not thought of the seriousness of the allegations made by them. It is a girls’ college and also the question of reputation of both the college and the students. We will soon work out details for investigating the allegations,” explained another official.
However, the students claim such allegations are not new. “Rumours have been going around in the campus from many years. But we are not aware whether they are true,” said a student of the college.
Girls don’t want cops inquiry
The 10 girls who have filed complaints against five teachers have requested the department not to go in for a police investigation. Speaking to Express, a senior official of the department said, “All the 10 complainants wanted a departmental inquiry and action as per department norms. They do not want a police investigation.”
Considering the requests from the complainants, Commissioner of Collegiate Education Dr Ajay Nagabhusan has constituted a inquiry committee headed by Bengaluru Urban Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer V Manjushree.
The committee has been asked only to concentrate on the complaints/allegations of the students and to submit a report within two weeks. Any student can record their statement before the committee.
It may be recalled that recently, a student had filed a complaint with the college principal against a Kannada lecturer alleging sexual harassment. This was proved in the internal complaints committee inquiry. Based on the inquiry report, the commissioner issued an order suspending the teacher. Following this, 10 more students raised similar allegations against five other teachers and filed a complaint with the commissioner.