Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Jan 28:
The inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations levelled by three women faculty members of Ravenshaw University took a new turn after the complainants failed to appear before the three-member institutional fact finding team yesterday.
They are demanding a Crime Branch probe for an unbiased hearing of their grievances. They have said that the committee is biased as they had not listened to their problems earlier. They also alleged that they have not received any notice to attend the hearing.
The college authorities, on the other hand, have said that the senior faculty members had been informed about the scheduled hearing through e-mail, according to reports.
The three piqued women have questioned why they were not handed over hard copies of the notices as was the norm in the varsity.
The three-member fact finding team, which has arrived at the University under the chairmanship of Council of Deans (CCD) Samarendra Mishra, HOD of Psychology department Sangeeta Rath and Economics department HOD Mamata Swain waited for more than 3 hours without any result as the three complainants did not turn up. The team later informed the vice-chancellor about their absence.
Dr Sanhita Padhi, Reader, department of Botany, had come forward with mental and sexual harassment allegations against a senior faculty member of her department and also alleged that female students in Ravenshaw were being subjected to sexual harassment and exploitation.
After Padhi, Hindi Department Head of Department (HOD), Professor Dr Anjuman Ara and Sociology department Reader Dr Anita Dash have also come forward with allegations of sexual harassment.
They had been asked to appear at 11:30 am yesterday at the University to put forward their grievances before the fact finding team, but abstained.
Calling the fact finding team an eyewash, Dr Sanhita Padhi said that she had earlier gone to CCD not once, but twice with her complaints but was ignored. So, how was she going to get justice from this committee?