SCB professor arrested on charges of molestation, sent to jail

Cuttack: Anaesthesia department head of SCB medical college, Dr. Laxmidhar Das was on Friday sent to jail after his bail plea was rejected by the court here.

Earlier in the day, Mangalabag police had arrested Das on the allegation of sexually harassing a post graduate girl student of his department.

The police action followed a written complaint by the victim at the Mangalabag police station two days back.

Acting on the FIR, lodged under section 354 (A) (sexual harassment) and 354 D (stalking), police recorded her statement. The statements of four other girl students of the college accompanying the victim to the police station, were also recorded as witness statements.

In her complaint, the victim, who hails from Puducherry, alleged that Das had called her to the department on February 2 and molested her. She also alleged that the professor had been making frequent sexual advances to her since September last year.

The SCB authorities, on the other hand, have ordered an internal investigation into the sexual harassment allegations levelled against Das.

“We have formed a five-member committee to conduct an internal inquiry into the incident. The complainant has been asked to depose before the committee,” an official said.

The accused professor, however, refuted the allegations. “The allegations are baseless and concocted. I have never misbehaved with any girl student,” said Das.

Sources said the victim is the daughter of a senior DMK leader and a former minister of Puducherry.

It is the second time in the past two years that a postgraduate student has levelled sexual harassment allegations against an SCB professor.

In June 2014, around 15 post graduate girl students had brought physical and mental harassment charges against Sitaram Mohapatra, head of the pathology department at SCB. Mohapatra was transferred after the junior doctors threatened a cease work.