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Govt orders probe into sexual abuse by assistant professor

The rare step follows SN College principal’s mishandling of complaint

Published: 04th November 2021 07:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th November 2021 07:06 AM   |  A+A-

Rape, crimes against women, harassment, sexual abuse

(Representational Image)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The collegiate education directorate has initiated an inquiry on the complaint of five female students of SN College, Chempazhanthy, who had alleged that an assistant professor had sent them lewd messages and sexual innuendos over the phone. 

The probe was ordered by Additional Director M Jothiraj last week on behalf of Director of Collegiate Education V Vigneshwari. The directorate’s order said the collegiate education deputy director in Kollam will probe the allegation raised by the students. 

The extraordinary step follows SN College Principal Anilkumar’s gross mishandling of the complaint filed by the woman students. Despite receiving the complaint and evidence on June 30, the principal has not even placed the accused faculty under suspension though the internal complaints committee (ICC) had ordered a probe.

The students complained that the accused, who is also an active member of a prominent teacher’s association, regularly sent lewd messages and sexual innuendos to them apart from bombarding them with WhatsApp video calls at odd hours. 

Despite the complainants furnishing strong evidence to support their petition, the college management and the principal allegedly tried to save the accused. The students also found the ICC proceedings shady.  With no hope of getting justice from the college principal and the management, the students approached the High Court which last week stayed all the proceedings in pursuance of the ICC report on the basis of the petitions filed by the students.

They had alleged that the college authorities were not keen on pursuing their complaint and that the ICC was constituted in an improper manner. One of the complainants told TNIE that the ICC convenor did not even bother to meet them and gave a report whitewashing the action of the accused teacher. The principal even tried to exact revenge on the final-year students, who had registered the complaint, by refusing to give them proper conduct certificates, the complainant said.

SN College principal Anilkumar was unavailable for comment.

Teachers who backed students get notice
A section of teachers who had expressed solidarity with the students were issued show cause notices by the college management alleging “misconduct” and “acting against the interest of the students and the college”. The accusation against one of the teachers was that the person tried to create sectarianism by taking part in a virtual programme ‘Veyilpookkal’, where prominent personalities interacted with students, and by writing a comment on a social media post on alcohol consumption among women. 



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