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Pradeep Pattanayak

With severe allegations like sexual harassment being levelled against several professors of Berhampur University, the reputation of one of the premier varsities is at stake.  

A student had alleged that Odia professor Sadananda Nayak on the pretext of giving tuition had called her to his house and passed lewd comments. The victim student had not only lodged a police complaint but also disclosed the entire episode before media. Acting on her complaint, the police had arrested the professor. The said professor is out on bail. 

“Many days have passed since the incident. Professor Sadananda Nayak had been threatening me with awarding fewer marks if I reveal the matter to anyone. I felt forced to draw the line when things went beyond tolerable,” the student had alleged. 

Similarly, the University authorities had received an anonymous letter informing them about the professor of the History department forcing girl students to stay back in library till late night. The PG Council has been asked to probe into the allegations. 

Meanwhile, an audio clip has gone viral. In the clip, an English professor can be heard asking for sexual favours from a girl student for getting her a PhD. However, the professor in question denied the allegations. 

“The allegations are baseless. Though I haven’t heard the audio, I can say the voice in the audio is not mine,” clarified assistant professor of PG department of English, T. Eswar Rao. 

The students have demanded immediate action against whom the allegations have been levelled. 

“We demand a proper investigation into the allegations and if the veracity of allegations is proved, action must be taken against them (the professors) by showing them the door,” said Durga Madhav Pradhan, a student. 

In this regard, when contacted, Vice Chancellor of Berhampur University Geetanjali Dash said, “The authorities have taken the matter seriously. The ICC committee comprising seven members is a strong body. It has been investigating into the allegations. The members will interrogate all those against whom allegations have been levelled. Stringent action will be taken as per the committee’s report."

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