Amid ongoing agitation in Jammu University after a suicide by an Assistant Professor of the Psychology Department, another case of sexual harassment has been reported in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) Katra in Jammu and Kashmir.
After protests erupted on the SMVDU campus, University authorities ordered an inquiry, and the accused professor has sent on leave till the completion of the probe.
"The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) constituted in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University has received a complaint from a female Ph.D. scholar regarding sexual harassment against a faculty member.
"The ICC headed by a senior female faculty member has initiated the inquiry proceedings into the complaint of the scholar. The University shall ensure that the inquiry is taken to its logical conclusion in a time-bound manner and action, as warranted under rules, shall be taken. Meanwhile, the faculty member has been sent on leave and relieved of his official duties till the completion of the inquiry proceedings", University stated in an official handout issued late Friday evening.
Students hold protests against irresponsible attitude of University authorities
Since Thursday evening, students of SMVDU have been protesting against the causal approach of the authorities after a female scholar lodged a written complaint of sexual harassment against a professor.
Enraged over the indifferent attitude of the SMVDU authorities towards serious allegations of sexual harassment, students of the University resorted to indefinite dharna on the campus. Reports said that a teacher of the University has sent some vulgar messages to a female scholar.
"Not only the teacher sent some vulgar messages but he also allegedly chased the female scholar and started harassing her", reports said.
The helpless female scholar along with some students lodged a written complaint before the authorities but higher-ups on the campus allegedly tried to hush up the serious issue.
Students of SMVDU started protests against the University authorities for not taking the matter seriously. As all students joined the protest, University authorities closed the main entrance of the campus.
ABVP demands removal of VC, Registrar, and other officers
Keeping in view the complete administrative paralysis of SMVDU administration for a significantly long time now, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (AVBP) on Friday demanded the removal of the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, and Dean Students' Welfare (DSW), without further delay.
"Since the past few years, corresponding to the appointment of the present VC, the University is going through a severe crisis as the administration is indulging in violation of the rules and statutes governing institutions of higher learning", state secretary of ABVP Mukesh Singh Manhas said.
"This august institution, created from the donations of devotees from across India and abroad, has, unfortunately, turned into the epicenter of moral turpitude. VC and Registrar, supported by some sycophants and pliant faculty, are destroying this institution of higher learning established in the name of one of the most revered deities of our nation", he said.
A senior functionary and professor at the level of Dean Student Welfare has been accused of sexual misconduct by a female scholar pursuing her doctoral research, he said.