Varsity to probe assistant prof over sexual harassment charge

Rajahmundry: An inquiry has been ordered into the allegation of sexual harassment by an assistant professor in Adikavi Nannayya University here.
The inquiry follows a complaint lodged by three girl students of the college of arts and commerce of the university to chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
This is the second incident of alleged sexual harassment by a professor in Godavari districts in the last four months. Soon after the girl students lodged the complaint with the chief minister, the AP Council of Higher Education, jumped into action and took up investigation into the allegation.
The girls had alleged that assistant professor N. Surya Raghavendra, who heads the department of English, has been sexually harassing them by calling them to his flat on the pretext of holding special tuition classes.
They told the chief minister that taking advantage of the project work and power to grant internal marks, the assistant professor was seeking sexual favours. He allegedly told them that he will pass them in backlog papers too if they heeded him. They also alleged that he warned students, who are pursuing MA English, that he would stop the project and fail them in examinations if they dared to lodge a complaint with the university authorities.
AP State Council for Higher Education directed the university to conduct a probe. The university constituted a fact-finding team headed by the coordinator of women’s cell in the university Dr Nooka Rathnam.
Adikavi Nannaya University incharge vice-chancellor Prof P Suresh Varma told TOI that further course of action would be taken after the inquiry is completed by the fact-finding committee. He said the girls had written a letter to the government before Dasara and APSCHE directed the university to conduct an inquiry. He said three girl students from arts college have written the letter to the government enclosing their photo identity cards. However, they did not sign the letter.
University registrar S Teki said the fact-finding committee had submitted a preliminary report and it was forwarded to the APSCHE. A detailed report will be submitted within a couple of days. He said the university authorities do not know if the letter was indeed written by the girl students.
Meanwhile, Students Federation of India have demanded a comprehensive inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment. SFI district secretary B Pavan demanded steps for protection of girl students on the university campus.

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