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Sexual harrassment charge against Odisha teacher

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 22:

Third year girl students of the Drama department of Utkal Sangeeta Mahavidyalaya, the premier music and drama institute in Odisha, lodged a sexual harassment case against a teacher of the same department at the Kharvela police station here today.

Students of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay displaying the copy of the FIR they lodged against a teacher of the Drama department at the Kharavel Nagar police station on Saturday (OST Photo)
Students of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay displaying the copy of the FIR they lodged against a teacher of the Drama department at the Kharavel Nagar police station on Saturday (OST Photo)

In their complaint, the girl students of the drama department alleged that the drama teacher, Sukesh Kumar Panda, sexually harassed them passing lewd remarks at them during classes.

The institute’s students also alleged that the teacher had been misusing his position and using vulgar language at them for quite some time.

Rashmita (not her real name), one of the students, informed that the teacher was in the habit of ogling at girls in a vulgar way and passing lewd remarks against them during classes.

“The teacher has been using abuses which have become unbearable for us. The incident has been perturbing me since a long time. However, I have not been able to speak out so far to avoid the embarrassment,” another student alleged.

“Two months back, we had brought the issue before the College principal. The authorities did not respond to our complaints for which we decided today to seek help from the local police,” she said.

“We have received a complaint from the girl students of Sangeeta Mahavidyalaya. We will register a case in this regard after the Inspector-in-charge, who is out of the police station returns on official work, intervenes into the issue,” a senior police official of Kharvela police station said.

The teacher was not available for comments.

Notably, the drama teacher, Panda, was suspended in 2008 on similar charges.

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