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NEHU students demand action against professor for sexual abuse

Three-day ultimatum served

Students of NEHU take out a protest rally demanding sacking of a professor — AK Das — for allegedly sexually harassing a woman research scholar on Wednesday. (UB)

SHILLONG: Normal functioning of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) here was affected on Wednesday as thousands of students staged protest march demanding sacking of a professor for allegedly sexually harassing a woman research scholar.

Later, agitating students and faculty members of the university gave a three-day ultimatum demanding the termination of a professor of Mathematics department AK Das from service.

“We have decided to give three days time to the university authorities to terminate the lecturer from service,” Rusievan Shangpliang, a member of the research scholars committee, said.

She also said that they were not happy with the suspension of the tainted lecturer.

“He (Prof Das) deserves to be terminated from his service for the crime he had committed. We want his immediate removal for the overall safety and security of the student community of the university especially female students. The termination of the service will also send clear message to everybody that no one will go unpunished if they indulge in such cheap and criminal acts against students,” Shangpliang said.

The agitating students demanded the NEHU authority to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the accused professor.

Das, who was appointed as a guide to the research scholar from Assam in the Mathematics department, allegedly sexually assaulted the research scholar.

Das was put under suspension in June after the student lodged a formal complaint with the University authorities after which an inquiry committee was also set up to investigate the matter.

The committee is due to submit its final report in a few days time.

Earlier, the University Vice Chancellor P Shukla and other senior officials of the University addressed the aggrieved students who gathered in front of his office.

Assuring the students of ensuring the university campus safe for women, Shukla said NEHU authorities have taken note of the complaint against the accused and if found guilty, actions will be taken as per law.

While assuring that he will immediately convene a meeting of the Executive Council (EC) to deliberate on the matter, Prof Shukla said that action would be taken against Prof Das as per the relevant rules.