An associate professor of Assam University was suspended on Friday for allegedly harassing a research scholar.
The Assam University Students’ Union (AUSU) had on Thursday submitted a written complaint to vice-chancellor Dilip Chandra Nath, demanding suspension of Partha Sarkar, an assistant professor in the mass communication department, and an inquiry against him.
The MPhil student had also submitted a written complaint to the vice-chancellor, alleging that she was being sexually harassed by Sarkar, her supervisor. She alleged that she was harassed with “uncomfortable” questions, including her choice of clothes, her personal relationships and similar topics, and tormented with video calls, text messages and comments on social media by Sarkar. She said in her complaint that Sarkar had even asked her to accompany him to a hotel in Guwahati, which she refused.
She demanded immediate suspension of and an inquiry against Sarkar.
AUSU general secretary Aritra Dhar told this correspondent on Friday that they had given the authorities a deadline of 4pm on Friday to respond to their demands. After the authorities failed to meet the deadline, members of the union and other students blocked the university gate in protest. Eventually, university authorities informed them through a letter that Sarkar had been suspended, he added.
He demanded a high-level inquiry against the professor.
Nath was not available for comment.
Sarkar, speaking to the The Telegraph over phone, dismissed all the allegations levelled by the scholar and said that it was a “conspiracy” against him. He claimed that she had no evidence to prove her allegation.
The matter has been referred to the university’s internal complaint committee under the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013.