Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, May 3:
The beleaguered assistant professor of Chemistry department in the College of Basic Science and Humanities under Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) has been booked on charges of sexually harassing male students of the college.
The college authorities today filed an FIR with the Khandagiri police station here against Assistant Professor Pradeep Kumar Jena for alleged sexual harassment of some male students.
Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Satyabrata Bhoi said that four cases have been registered against the professor.
“ We have received a complaint from four students and a case was registered. We are investigating into the allegation,” added the DCP.
The assistant professor was suspended on Friday on the basis of an inquiry into the incident by a three-member committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor Manoranjan Kar.
In its report submitted to the vice-chancellor on Thursday, the committee said it did not find evidence of sexual harassment against the assistant professor. But it found sufficient evidence against him of facilitating malpractice during examinations and getting students beaten up. This was the basis on which he was suspended.
The vice-chancellor had formed the three-member departmental investigation committee after the incident came to the fore on April 8. The committee was supposed to submit its report by April 20, but submitted it only on April 30.
The inquiry into the incident was meandering along till the Chief Mminister’s Office (CMO), based on a compalint lodged by the victims, wrote to the vice-chancellor on April 27 seeking a report on the issue. Accusing the university authorities of attempting to hush up the case, the students had petitioned the state DGP and Twin City Commissioner of Police, besides the CMO.
The assistant professor of has been accused of misusing his power to sexually harass seven of his male students.
The accused teacher could not be contacted for comments.