VISAKHAPATNAM: Several students belonging to the Sanskrit Department of Andhra University have alleged sexual harassment at the hands of their HoD K Yedukondalu. The girls, along with other students and research scholars, assaulted the HoD after an argument here on Monday morning.
HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao ordered an inquiry into the matter after the students staged a protest demanding his dismissal. There were similar charges against Yedukondalu three years ago. Based on the report submitted by an internal investigation committee, he was removed from the HoD’s post. It was only recently that he got back the position.
According to students, Yedukondalu uses double entendre directed at girls during class. If they have doubts, the girls are called into his cabin. “He always asks girl students to sit in the front row. Every time he utters ‘I love you’ or ‘I like you’, mentioning a particular student’s name, he expects a similar reply from them in the classroom.
Whenever we want him to sign an assignment, he calls us to his cabin where he verbally abuses us. Whatever subject he teaches, he explains using expletives which sound vulgar even to male students,” said a student. Students alleged that Yedukondalu would ask girl students whether they would like to act in films as he had friends in the entertainment industry.
A police complaint has been lodged against Yedukondalu in Three Town Police Station. When contacted, AU vice-chancellor G Nageswara Rao said, “Once we receive a complaint, we will constitute a committee to investigate the charges against the HoD. A plaint was filed against him in the past. He was then dismissed from the HoD’s post and re-appointed only after two years. We will take action after we receive a report from the investigation committee.”
Yedukondalu said the allegations were baseless. “Every student should have at least 75% attendance to take AU exam. We prepared the attendance list a few days ago and asked some students to pay a condonation fee. As they won’t be allowed to take the exams, they requested me to reconsider their cases. I was reluctant to do so, so they alleged issues with which I have no connection,” he said.