Andhra's Nannaya Uni prof accused of sexual harassment sent to judicial remand

Assistant professor N Surya Raghavendra, the English Head of Department at the Adikavi Nannaya University (ANU) in Andhra Pradesh was sent to 14-day judicial remand after he was accused of sexually harassing his students. The accused was arrested on Thursday evening and produced before the Principal Junior Civil Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate in Rajamahendravaram, reported The New Indian Express.

Earlier, a police case was registered against the professor based on a complaint by ANU registrar S Teki at the Rajanagaram police station. The case was booked under 354A (Making sexually coloured remarks), 354D (Stalking), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

According to The Times of India, Prakashnagar SI Sravani arrested the accused. The SI has been appointed as the special enquiry officer to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against the assistant professor.

Although Vice-Chancellor Suresh Verma initially, called the allegations ‘baseless’ and a ‘ploy to bring disrepute to the university’ by the complainants, Surya Raghavendra was suspended last week by the varsity on the directions of the internal enquiry committee which was constituted to probe the allegations.

As per the allegations, the accused would frequently invite the students to his residence on the pretext of 'special classes' and behave inappropriately with them, and would allegedly threaten to fail them in his subjects if they attempted to complain against him.

The incident came to light after three former female students from the university directly wrote to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. Screenshots of his messages to some of the students, where he was seen asking for pictures of the women, were also leaked to the media.

Following the directions of AP CMO, the state higher council had ordered an inquiry into the allegations. Subsequently, a panel was constituted to probe the allegations. 

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