PATNA: After two days of protests by students and intervention by police, authorities of Nalanda International University (NIU) on Wednesday took action against two students facing charges of sexual harassment of fellow students.
One accused student was suspended and the other was shifted from his current hostel to another after the authorities of the Rajgir-based international university were asked by the district police to lodge an FIR against the two accused students. No FIR was, however, lodged till this report was filed.
Sources said NIU authorities were forced to take action against the two accused students nine days after the varsity’s internal complaint committee confirmed the allegations against the duo. It was a month ago that the allegations were formally lodged by at least five girl students of the internationally-funded university that was set up in 2010 as a global centre of higher studies with the efforts of luminaries such as former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen.
“The Internal Complaint Committee probing the allegations had submitted its report on March 20. As per the set procedure on such issues, action was taken after receiving due approval of the Chancellor,” said Smita Polite, the university's media in-charge.
The students of the university staged protests for two consecutive days - Tuesday and Wednesday - on the campus in Rajgir, some 100 km from Patna, alleging that the acting Vice-Chancellor, Pankaj Mohan, was trying to cover up charges of sexual harassment and the findings of the probe corroborating those charges. Mohan had, however, denied the allegations against him and said he was awaiting approval from the chairman of the governing body to execute the probe committee’s recommendations.
Police were called onto the campus on Wednesday morning when students reportedly threatened to go on a rampage if action was not taken against the two accused students. Nalanda SP Kumar Ashish and Rajgir DSP Sanjay Kumar visited the campus and talked to both the students and the authorities.
“Anticipating trouble on the campus, we visited it and facilitated a conversation between the agitating students and the authorities. I asked the authorities to lodge an FIR and take action as per the varsity’s guidelines,” said the SP to this newspaper.