Ravenshaw sexual harassment row: ‘victims’ want CB probe

Cuttack: The sexual harassment allegation brought by three female teaching staff of Ravenshaw University here against their seniors took a new turn on Monday after they demanded a Crime Branch investigation into the matter even as the fact finding team of the varsity submitted its report.

The victims, who did not turn up on Wednesday before the fact findng team to record their statements, today demanded a Crime Branch probe.

“We demand a probe by Crime Branch. If not the CB, any other government body can investigate the matter but there must be impartiality. We don’t have any faith in the Committee set up by the University. Because there is every possibility of favouritism if such a Committee is entrusted with the investigation. The culprits must be unmasked,” Anjuman Ara, Head of Hindi department, Ravenshaw University, said.

The University must take up the case seriously, she stated.

Meanwhile, authorities of the varsity said the complainants can request for a time extension to depose before the Committee.

“No second notice will be served on them. We are ready to give them a chance, only if they request that they want to appear before the Committee. We have done our duty, now they have to take the initiative,” university Vice-Chancellor Prakash Chandra Sarangi said.

The committee formed by the VC had asked Associate Professor Sanhita Padhi of Botany department, Anjuman Ara of Hindi and Anita Das of Sociology department to appear before it on Wednesday. But the teachers said they did not have faith in the fact finding panel and wanted a Crime Branch investigation.

Notably, Padhi had made allegation of harassment and mental torture against a senior faculty member of her department. She had also alleged that the senior faculty member had been harassing her and some other female students for the last few months.

After Padhi, Hindi department’s Ara and Sociology department’s Dash also came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.