Gangtok, 14 May:
Sikkim University has divested a professor of all responsibilities and powers after a student lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against him.
The accused professor, Silajit Guha, who is the head of the Mass Communications Department, was removed from his post with immediate effect and replaced by Assistant Professor, Dr Manoj Kumar Das as in charge of the Mass Communication Department.
"The HOD of the Mass Communications Department has been removed from the post pending an inquiry into the allegation of sexual harassment against him by one of the girl students of his department," SU Registrar Prof TK Kaul confirmed.
The victim had submitted a written complaint on Sunday and the decision was made on the basis of the recommendations of the internal complaints committee of the university, the Registrar said.
"The internal complaints committee held a preliminary probe in the matter and recommended action against the accused professor," Prof Kaul said.
The University also issued an office order on Monday barring Prof Guha from visiting the department and also from evaluating answer scripts of its students.
The Registrar mentioned that as far as the victim is concerned, the university has given her full assurance of security and safety.
It is learnt that Prof Guha is currently not in station.
According to some students, the alleged incident of sexual harassment had taken place on 05 May at a marriage reception in a hotel where both the victim and the accused were invited guests along with several other employees and students of the university.
Meanwhile, Sikkim University Student’s Association [SUSA] president, Palsang Tamang has also demanded justice for the victim.
The association is waiting for the ICC to submit its report and if there is any injustice the association is ready to come out on the road, he said.
He also questioned Prof Guha leaving the State without taking official leave or without informing the university. He mentioned that there are some more victims but only one has lodged the complaint and added that investigation should also find out if students were pressurised or threatened.