MEGHALAYA | NEHU harassment case: Students seek suspension of HOD for harassing female students
Tura, November 3, 2017: Angered at the absolute inaction on a complaint by one of the students of the North East Hills University (NEHU) – Tura Campus, students today took to slogan shouting in an effort to get their voices heard by NEHU authorities.
Professor SC Srivastava, the HOD of Rural Development and Agricultural Production (RDAP) had allegedly sent lewd messages to at least four students, though only one student had come forward with a complaint.
The series of messages to the victim had caused her grievous mental agony leading to her submitting a complaint to the PVC of Tura for action against the guilty professor. The matter was later forwarded to the VC of NEHU who asked the Women's Cell of NEHU for action. However despite a month having passed there has been no action taken by the NEHU authorities leading to anger of the students who today came out in huge numbers to seek justice for the victim.
The agitation today was led by the NEHU Students Union and supported by the GSU, FKJGP and AYWO who too joined the agitators.
"We have been seeking the suspension of the guilty professor for his actions which has undermined the teaching community. We have proof of his guilt and want to know as to what has been done on the complaint of our friend. However there has been no answer forthcoming and so the agitation," said president of NEHUSU, Alexander D Sangma.
When contacted the PVC, G Singhaih, who tried to pacify the students today said, "We have got feedback from the Woman's Cell who told us that there was only a complaint letter but no evidence provided. They are asking for the same to be given before any action is taken."
Amazingly however when the chairperson of the Woman's Cell was contacted she made no mention of the need for evidence but said that a similar 'woman's cell' needed to be created in Tura and also that the VC had empowered the PVC to begin investigations from the Tura campus. She even went to the extent of saying that it was difficult to investigate the matter as she was in Shillong and wanted the matter to be investigated from Tura itself – in what can only be termed as washing her hands off from the matter.
"They seem to not want to take care of us and that is why they are not giving us any assurances of even taking up an investigation. If they come to investigate we will definitely provide them the proof. This is so very wrong and they cannot just take us for granted in trying to protect their colleague," said an agitated student during the protest today.
"NEHU is in denial mode and it is not good for the students. NEHU authorities should initiate an inquiry into the matter and punish the person guilty if he has committed the crime," said Pritam Marak, president of FKJGP.
"We will continue with the agitation till action is taken in the case and the professor taken to task. The authorities cannot turn a blind eye to atrocities being committed this way," said president of GSU, Tengsak G Momin.
Meanwhile the continued agitation later led to the PVC having a meeting with the NEHUSU as well as all the other NGOs concerned on the matter. The PVC assured the people gathered of representatives of the Woman's cell coming to the Tura campus by Tuesday to investigate. This led to the agitators finally relenting.
Meanwhile a source from NEHU stated that Srivastava, the HOD under scanner was removed from RDAP with the department now temporarily being given to another professor until further notice.