VIRUDHUNAGAR: A woman professor who allegedly tried to lure her students to extend sexual favours to top officials of a leading university in Tamil Nadu was on Monday arrested after the issue triggered a furore in the state.
Nirmala Devi, who was suspended after the episode came to light recently, was arrested by a police team which broke open into her house. She was taken into custody after a five-hour operation. Police summoned her relatives and a woman revenue official before the arrest.
The woman professor, who taught at a college in nearby Aruppukottai, was at the centre of a storm after audio clips of her talk with some students suggesting that they yield themselves to keep the 'higher-ups' in the Madurai Kamaraj University happy so that the college gets facilities went viral on the social media.
While Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister Anbazhagan promised stringent action in the matter, Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the Chancellor of the University, ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter by a retired IAS officer, R. Santhanam.
Nobody involved in the crime would be spared, a Raj Bhavan release quoting the Governor as saying.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the University P.P. Chellathurai told reporters in New Delhi that a five-member committee, including three women, had been constituted to go into the issue.
He said the University came to know about the whole episode not from the college. "Nobody who is involved in the matter will be spared and all of them will be brought before law."
The issue caused a political storm with leaders of various parties calling for stringent action against the woman professor and others involved in it.
DMK leader M.K. Stalin demanded a High Court-monitored CBI probe. "There seems to be some nexus with the higher ups," he told reporters.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss also demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the episode.
The former Union Health Minister Ramadoss said a shocking audio clip of a professor in Virudhunagar district trying to lure her students as a "sexual feed" for some higher officials in the university had come out.
Ramadoss said that in the audio clip the professor was allegedly heard saying that those who can provide facilities for the university have to be kept happy and they are expecting favours from the college students.
In the audio clip, the professor does not explicitly say the students have to extend sexual favours but leaves enough hints as to what she was trying to convey.
"The shocked poor students were heard saying in a broken voice that they are not interested in the proposal. Undeterred the professor tells the students that if they agree to the proposal then the students can achieve anything relating to their course," Ramadoss said.
Earlier, the college authorities had suspended the professor for 15 days which he insisted was not sufficient.