The women crime branch probing the Gujarat University (GU) letters case recorded statements of the Vice-Chancellor M N Patel on Wednesday. A team of women crime branch officials went to the university and collected his statements under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Professor Sharman Zala, who had allegedly written vulgar letters to three women professors of the college, is facing a case of sexual harassment. The women crime branch had booked a case under Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code against Zala on August 3.
The victims had complained to police that they had reported the alleged harassment to the V-C 15 days ago. However, he neither ordered any probe into the incident nor questioned the male professors. They also alleged that the GU was trying to cover up the matter. When the victims received no justice from authorities, they filed an application with the women crime branch.
ACP Kanan Desai said, “Our team went there to collect his statements as part of our investigation. The investigating officer has recorded his statements regarding the entire incident. The professor in question is still on the run and our efforts are on to hunt for him.
Meanwhile, Zala’s letters were again sent to the forensic science laboratory for detailed handwriting analysis and a report would be submitted to the crime branch. Before this, the police had sent the letter for verification of the handwriting and collected signatures of 11 professors from the faculties where the women professors are working. The police had found Zala as a “suspected accused” on the basis of the forensic lab’s analysis that showed that the handwriting in his signature matches with that in the letters.
According to police, when the victims had reported the matter to the V-C, Zala’s wife had allegedly tried to threaten them. The police added that she had called the victims and threatened them to withdraw their complaints. The police added that they suspected the involvement of another GU professor who was aiding Zala and have begun the probe in that direction.