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Protest over sexual assault

- Nehu Ultimatum to sack teacher

Shillong, Aug. 27: Hundreds of students and teachers of the North Eastern Hill University (Nehu) at Mawlai here today staged a protest against mathematics professor A.K. Das who is accused of sexually harassing a research scholar.

Students and faculty members took out a protest march and assembled in front of the vice-chancellor’s office at Nehu and served an ultimatum to sack Das within three days.

The officiating vice-chancellor of Nehu, P. Shukla, assured them that the university has “zero tolerance” towards any incident of sexual harassment on campus.

Shukla said a meeting of the university’s executive council would be convened and a decision, that would “satisfy everybody”, would be taken accordingly against the accused teacher.

“An inquiry committee will submit its report after 10 days and we will terminate his service as per rules and procedures,” he said.

The victim had lodged a complaint with the women’s cell of the university in May and the university had placed Das under suspension since July 9.

Protesters said researcher was sexually and mentally harassed by the mathematics teacher in February this year. The protesters displayed placards and shouted slogans like “We don’t want such parasites”.

At the gathering, Rusievan Shangpliang, member of a research scholars’ committee, condemned the incident and said it was not the first time that such an unpleasant case had occurred in the university.

“Earlier too, a student was victimised. She was forced to discontinue her studies and left the university. Initiating stern action will send a clear message to all that none will be left unpunished if he indulges in such cheap and criminal acts,” he said.

The students also demanded that Nehu authorities lodge an FIR against the accused teacher.