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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Koraput: Students at a +2 Junior Women’s College in Sunabeda on Saturday came out in support of their principal who had earlier been arrested on charges of sexually harassing a female colleague at the institute.

The students, including past and present, alleged that their principal, Pabitra Kumar Bedanta, had been victimised in a conspired manner. They urged the district Collector and the Superintendent of Police to direct an investigation by the cyber police and experts to establish the veracity of the allegations.

“We have a strong feeling that our principal has been falsely implicated. The mobile phone of the complainant should be confiscated and analysed so as to unravel the conspiracy,” said Sarbani Mallick, a former student of the college.

It is worth mentioning that a 23-year-old woman who worked as a computer operator in the college had lodged a complaint against the principal alleging he was sexually harassing her. As per the complaint, the principal was even trying to touch her inappropriately on multiple occasions inside the college.

The woman in her complaint had further alleged that the principal also had made sexual advances at her on repeated occasions which she had turned down. Moreover, the principal was allegedly sharing inappropriate messages on her mobile phone.

The police had lodged an FIR on the basis of the complaint and arrested Bedanta on November 3.

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