Panel probing Odisha’s Ravenshaw varsity sexual harassment complaints submits report

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 1:

The three-member institutional fact finding team inquiring into the sexual harassment allegations levelled by three women faculty members of Ravenshaw University today submitted its report to the varsity’s vice chancellor.

Ravenshaw University

The team has stated in its report that complainants did not appear before it to record their statements.

The three-member team headed by chairman, Council of Deans (CCD) Samarendra Mishra today submitted its report after seven days of its constitution. The report states that Dr Sanhita Padhi, associate professor Botany department, Dr Anjuman Ara HOD Hindi department and Dr Anita Dash associate professor Sociology department refused to appear and record their statements before the team.

These faculty members have raised questions on the impartiality of the members of the fact finding team. They have demanded a probe by Crime Branch police or any other agency in the matter.

“We want the matter to be probed by Crime Branch. We wish that it be probed by the Crime Branch or any other competent agency for it to be impartial. There is no point in appearing before the fact finding committee of Ravenshaw University since they are biased and will take sides,” said Dr Ara speaking to reporters.

On the other hand, the varsity’s vice chancellor Prakash Chandra Sarangi has said the complainants have obstructed the inquiry process by not naming anyone in their complaints and not appearing before the committee as well to record their statements.

“We cannot serve notices to them again. If they write to us that they are ready to appear before the committee we will give them a chance to appear and record their statements. A week’s time to appear before the committee doesn’t mean that it’s sacrosanct and there cannot be amends. Now they have to take the initiative we have already done whatever was required to be done. If they seek more time we will allow that,” said Sarangi.

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