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Jadavpur University seeks reply from harass-accused

An official said the university would decide whether to act against the teacher based on his reply to the showcause notice
Jadavpur University is in the reckoning for a Rs 125-crore investment by the Centre.

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Calcutta   |   Published 27.06.19, 02:28 AM

Jadavpur University has written to a teacher accused of making derogatory comments about girl students asking why steps should not be taken against him as recommended by a panel that investigated the allegation.

JU’s internal complaints committee had in its report to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das last month left it to the university to decide whether the teacher would be censured or asked to undergo counselling.

Students of a humanities department had complained to Das against the teacher in January.

The teacher refused to comment when Metro contacted him on Wednesday.

An official said the university would decide whether to act against the teacher as recommended by the panel based on his reply to the showcause notice.

The university had on January 17 barred the teacher from entering the university till further order. “He will remain barred till the university receives a response from him. If it is decided that he would be warned or asked to undergo counselling, the authorities will decide whether the bar on his entry would be lifted or not,” the official said.

Another official said a copy of the probe committee’s report had been sent to the accused teacher and he was asked to state his comment on the panel’s observation that he “needs to be kept in check”.

The teacher wrote back to the authorities saying the panel’s findings were “vague and non-substantial”, sources on the campus said.

“Although he refuted the findings, the authorities cannot ignore the committee’s observation that since there is a common grievance against a teacher, he needs to be kept in check. The committee has recommended that he be restrained through censuring or counselling. We will decide on the steps after going through his reply,” an official said.

Asked about the showcause letter, VC Das said: “I will only say that the law will take its course.”

Apart from the students’ complaint, the panel also probed allegations that the teacher posted an offensive comment against women on his Facebook timeline.

The teacher had posted the comment on January 12 and deleted it the next day after it triggered online protests across the country.

“During the deposition, the teacher said he had not said anything about the university in his Facebook post. He still regretted the comment. Since he deleted the post, we could not go through its content,” the official said.

The students who had handed the mass petition to the VC did not depose before the probe panel, the official added.

In March, the panel had recommended that a professor in the science faculty be suspended “with immediate effect” and showcaused him to explain why the university would not take further disciplinary action against him after he was held guilty of sexually harassing a research scholar.

The university had turned down the professor’s appeal to revoke its earlier decision to suspend him on charges of molesting a research assistant.


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