A teacher of a college affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University was arrested Monday for allegedly asking students to perform sexual favours for a senior university official. Audio clip of a conversation in which the teacher is allegedly asking a student to perform sexual favours for a senior official has references to Governor Banwarilal Purohit, leading CPM to demand that the Centre recall the Governor for an independent probe.
After CPM raised the issue, Purohit, who is also the chancellor of the university, issued a statement, stating that an inquiry commission has been appointed to probe the matter. The university suspended Nirmala Devi, Assistant Professor at Devanga Arts College in Virudhunagar.
The issue came to the fore a week ago when a Tamil weekly reported it. Soon after, audio of the conversation was leaked to media. An official of the college said she was suspended after they received a complaint from students on March 19. Ramasamy, principal in-charge of the college, said they have launched an inquiry. “We are still clueless about the details of charges,” he said.
In the audio clip, Devi is heard talking to a student about an “opportunity” and about things students have to do “secretly” for a senior university official. Referring to the “big official”, Devi is heard promising that students willing to take up the task will get favours in academics, marks, and financial benefits “in a bank account”. During the conversation, Devi says she has access to the Governor and adds that “he is not a grandfather anyway”. When the student refuses, Devi warns her against sharing the conversation with anyone.
A senior police officer privy to Devi’s questioning said she admitted that the voice in the audio clip was hers. “She is heard telling the student that they may decide on informing their parents about the plan. Citing that part, she has said she wouldn’t have made the suggestion if she wanted students to perform sexual favours,” he said.
CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan demanded that the Centre recall Purohit for a fair probe.
Referring to “widespread reports” of “certain immoral happenings in a college in Aruppukottai,” a statement from Purohit said he has ordered a “high powered inquiry” by retired IAS officer R Santhanam.