Girl students of a self-financing paramedical college here have allegedly been subjected to sexual harassment and abuse for months by the institution’s correspondent.
On Friday, 10 of them, accompanied by their parents, submitted a petition to the Collector, urging him to initiate stern action against those who harassed the students. Most of the victims hailed from rural areas.
“Of the 24 girls pursuing nursing and lab technician courses, 11 have been staying at the hostel near the college, off the Tiruchy-Namakkal road. The correspondent would often come to the hostel late at night and force us to do all kinds of menial work for him. We were even forced to massage his limbs,” one of the girls told Express.
The girls claimed that the college administrators threatened them with dire consequences if they divulged the matter to anyone.
Another inmate of the hostel, whose warden, incidentally, was the sister of the correspondent, said, “Initially, we were reluctant to share it with our parents thinking that it would hurt them. But since we could not tolerate the sexual torture, we broke the matter to them.”
Trying to hold back tears, V Sakthi from Mettur, whose daughter was pursuing a nursing course in the college said, “We toil from morning to evening every day to eke out a living. We sent the children to the college with a lot of dreams. But everything was shattered when we heard the cruelty meted out to them. We will not send them back to the college.”
Meanwhile, informed sources said this was not the first time that the college was involved in controversies.
A few years ago, the district administration sealed the college since it did not have the required permission from the concerned authorities to operate.
Later, it was caught up in a scholarship scandal and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) booked a case against the college and another institution for alleged misappropriation of funds.
Reacting to the charges against him, the correspondent-cum-principal of the college, Arul Kumaran, said, “The students are levelling false allegations against me. I have never indulged any such immoral act. Right now I am in Mandya, Karnataka. I will explain the truth once I come back.”