Sexual abuse slur on NIT-Rourkela Professor

In the first week of April, the victim lodged the complaint with NIT-R Director who promptly handed over the investigation to the institute’s five-member internal complaint committee.

Published: 16th April 2022 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2022 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

ROURKELA:  National Institute of Technology-Rourkela has found itself mired in another sexual harassment controversy after a PhD student filed a complaint against professor and head of a wing of the educational institute.

In the first week of April, the victim lodged the complaint with NIT-R Director Prof K Umamaheswar Rao, who promptly handed over investigation to the institute’s five-member internal complaint committee (ICC). The panel is headed by Prof Poonam Singh and comprises three female and two male members. The ICC is learnt to have submitted a preliminary report to the Director two days back.  

Reliable sources privy to the incident said the incident took place around six months back. In her complaint, the victim claimed that the professor convinced her to accompany him to Jharsuguda on the pretext of some experimental tour related to research work. The accused reportedly asked to take snacks at a restaurant. But on reaching the venue, the victim was shocked to see that it was not any restaurant but a hotel room booked in advance by the accused. 

The victim accused the professor of making sexual advances. The student reportedly told the ICC that there was a delay in filing the complaint as she was traumatised after the incident and feared for her career. The student community fears that since the accused holds multiple administrative positions and several committees, he should be stripped off all responsibilities till completion of investigation. 

NIT-R Director Prof Rao said, “Notwithstanding the findings of the ICC, the safety and security of the student will be ensured. It is our primary responsibility to safeguard students from exploitation. The recommendations of ICC will be initiated without any delay. But the inquiry is yet to conclude.” 

This is not the first time NIT-R has woken up to sexual harassment complaint. In May 2016, video of the then security officer showing him in a compromising position with a private lady guard in his office chamber had gone viral. After absconding for 15 days, he was finally arrested on rape charge. He retired from the NIT-R two years back while in jail. 

Five months later in October 2016, a BTech student levelled sexual harassment allegation against a clerk in the security department. She accused the clerk of trying to inappropriately touching her.
In July 2013, an MTech student had accused her project guide of calling her to his office and making sexual advances. All these cases were investigated by the internal fact finding committees of the institute, but the outcomes were never made public. 

Blot on education

The victim, a PhD student, lodged complaint against the professor in first week of April

The alleged incident took place around six months back

In May 2016, video of the then security officer showing him in a compromising position with a private lady guard had gone viral

In October 2016, a BTech student levelled sexual harassment allegation against a clerk in the security department

In July 2013, an MTech student accused her project guide of making sexual advances



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp