Higher Education

Bhagalpur University Prof suspended on molestation charge

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Prof Manish Chandra Verma is suspended by the Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University administration in Patna. The professor has been suspended on the basis of an interim probe report on allegations of sexual harassment of a research scholar by him. Verma who is a senior teacher in the university is accused of harassing a PhD scholar. The scholar also lodged a complaint with police besides making a representation to the SP in January 2011. She has written to the governor-cum-chancellor of the universities, the Chief Justice of India and various rights bodies. After the issue came to the fore the university authorities constituted a probe panel to look into the issue. It comprised of five Deans of Faculties and proctor Ratna Mukherjee. TMBU public relations officer Iqbal Ahmed said the teacher was suspended on March 1, 2011 on the basis of the probe panel's interim report. The suspended teacher has been transferred to Murarka College at Sultanganj till the panel submits its final report; Ahmed said and refused to divulge the contents of the “confidential” interim report. He also informed that the university administration has nominated three more women members to the probe panel. They are Harpal Kaur, Kiran Singh and Archana Kumari. Kaur and Singh are members of the university syndicate. Meanwhile, the suspension has evoked protests from the teachers' body. University Department Teachers Association secretary Dr Jagdhar Mandal said the association seeks withdrawal of the suspension order till the probe is completed. “You cannot punish anyone till the accusations against him are proved,” he said. Police, meanwhile, have registered a case under different IPC Sections and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the teacher.

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