THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Deputy Director of Collegiate Education, who conducted an inquiry into the allegation of sexual harassment against an assistant professor of SN College, Chempazhanthy, has confirmed that the teacher under scanner had repeatedly sent messages to female students, while some of the faculty members forced the complainants to withdraw their petition against the teacher.
The government had ordered the deputy director to probe the complaint after the students said the college management and the principal were trying to shield the accused. They had also complained that the working of the Internal Complaints Committee on the petition against the accused was shady.
Five female students had raised the allegation against Abhilash T, an assistant professor of politics, accusing him of sending them lewd messages and sexual innuendos over the phone. The college authorities took a stand to protect Abhilash and the probe report notes that allowing the accused teacher to continue at the same college could hamper delivery of natural justice to the aggrieved.
The report filed by the deputy director said the accused had sent WhatsApp messages and emojis depicting kisses, hugs and wink to the students overlooking their objection. The video calls were placed at odd hours to more than one student and this cannot be a case of mistake.
The report also revealed that there was merit in the complaint of the students that some of the faculty members tried to arm-twist the students to take back their complaints. The statement of Saritha S R, head of the history department, that it was without understanding the nature of the complaint that she had asked the cousin of one of the complainant to withdraw the petition is not reliable. The report found that the conduct of physical education faculty Amjith, who is also a member of the ICC and was accused of demeaning the complainants by talking ill of them, was a grave mistake.
The report gave a clean chit to English department head Manu Remakant, who had organised an online programme for the students where the complaint against the assistant professor first came up. The accused had alleged that Manu had influenced the students to launch a fake complaint. However, this allegation was dismissed in the report.