VISAKHAPATNAM: After Andhra University’s Sanskrit HoD was accused of sexually abusing girl students, the AU is in the news for wrong reasons again, with PhD scholars of the biochemistry department on Thursday hurling harassment charges against their HoD P Radhika.She has been accused of browbeating a pregnant PhD scholar and refusing to sign her thesis. The PhD scholars staged a protest in the campus along with the victim, Sirisha, and her father, after which the HoD signed her thesis. Sirisha has been working on her thesis since 2013 under the guidance of Raghava Rao. Going by the norm, before submitting the final copy of the thesis to the UGC, it has to be signed by the HoD of the department concerned.
According to Sirisha’s father, Ram Mohan Rao, his daughter was “running around the department” to get Radhika’s signature. “The copy was corrected thrice. Initially, the HoD raised objections about my attendance. Later, she wanted the original copy of my thesis alleging that someone else had already done a thesis on the subject,” said Sirisha, who is eight months pregnant.
Despite her fragile health, Sirisha said she, along with her father, stood before the HoD’s room seeking her signature on the thesis. “We waited for hours for days before her cabin, only to return empty handed. We took the issue to the AU registrar who asked the professor to sign, but she refused to do so. As the situation got worse, we had to go against her,” said the father. The thesis was signed by Sirisha’s guide, but she couldn’t submit it without the HoD’s signature. Student Affairs dean G Sudhakar and AU College of Science and Tech principal DE Babu asked Radhika to sign the thesis.