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Odisha varsity gay sex row: Victim students record statement in court

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 6:

Four of the seven students who accused an assistant professor of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) of sodomy yesterday recorded their statements at the JMFC court under section 164 of CrPC.

ouat prof accused of sodomy

The students told the court about the pretext and places where Pradeep Jena, an assistant professor of Basic Science College’s chemistry department, abused them sexually. They also explained to the court how Jena used to beat them up and misuse his powers to threaten to fail them in the examinations unless they agreed to please him.

It may be noted that the university had lodged an FIR at the Khandagiri police station after a departmental investigating committee appointed by the vice-chancellor failed to find sufficient evidence of sexual harassment allegations even though they did find clear evidence of misuse of power to encourage cheating and beating up students.

The university suspended the assistant professor on the basis of the committee’s report before handing over the case to the police for investigation of the sexual harassment charge.

Based on the FIR, Khandagiri police got a medical examination done on the students.

The professor remains at large to avoid an arrest. However, the cops say they are taking the case seriously.

“We will take action against the professor once we have the reports of the medical examinations and investigate it,” said the IIC of Khandagiri Police Station Sarat Kumar Sahoo.

The police had been to the university yesterday and had questioned Vice Chancellor Manoranjan Kar and Director of the University Bikash Panda along with a few other officials. The university authorities had submitted their 160-page report by the departmental investigation committee, pen drive, CD, Whatsapp conversation to the police.

The cops, however, could not raid his office, as it was locked. Earlier, a police team led by Sahoo had raided his house on Monday.