The list is getting longer for the ‘exemplary’ teachers of Assam University, but for a wrong cause or credit. Sex slurs and cases of sexual harassment inside the campus, not among students, but, by teachers with a malicious intent to get into the act, read ‘sexual’, has started to tarnish the name of this university, from somewhat good to worse.
Nazmul Islam Barbhuiya, Acting Head of the Arabic Department of Assam University is the latest entrant among a list of teachers who are facing such sex slurs and cases against them. Head of the Arabic Department, Nazmul, has been sent for 14 days of judicial custody since September 1 this year following an FIR by a passed out Master’s Degree student, Naznin (name changed), on August 31 for her teacher’s constant pestering and passing of lewd remarks leading to requests for sexual favours.
Assam University authorities though issued a ‘suspension order’ against his name on September 6 only, as no communiqué was shared by Special Branch till September 5 to them, according to Registrar of Assam University Dr Sanjib Bhattacharjee.
Speaking to Northeast Now he said, “Naznin (name changed) did not come to us, instead, directly filed and FIR at Assam University Police Patrol Post. We have issued a suspension order on Thursday after we got a copy from the Special Branch.”
On being asked on the status of a similar sexual harassment case against Sudipto Sarkar, Head of the Agricultural Engineering Department on July 26, Registrar Sanjib Bhattachrjee said, “He too is under suspension and the matter is now under Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Assam University to place their final report and than the matter would be placed before the Assam University Executive Council for it to take a decision. If concrete proof is there for all to see, he would definitely be shown the door. As of now with a preliminary report of ICC he has been suspended.”
Well, as per norms, within 1 to 60 days, the final report needs to be placed by the ICC, and more than 40 days have gone by but nothing much seems to have moved as of now, President of Assam University Students Union (AUSU) Milan Das said.
ICC didn’t take more than seven days to give their final report against Sabbir Ahmed, a contractual non-teaching staff, for a similar sexual slur against him.
“But why cases against teachers take such a long time. Is it because the university authorities are hell bent on saving them from this mess, one after another?” he questioned.
Dropping another bombshell on Friday Milan Das said, “A court order has come to the university authorities to give an explanation as to how the original copy of the final report of ICC against one more from the long list, Nirakar Mallick, Associate Professor of Sociology Department, who too faces a sexual harassment case for the past three years, gets missing from the files in this campus.”
Vice Chancellor Dilip Chandra Nath talking to Northeast Now said, “Won’t make any comment on all of these for the Registrar is supposed to look after all these issues. Have tried a lot, if everyone is having a feast, joining them is the order of the day out here”.