Jammu, Apr 8 (PTI) The Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) in Rajauri district of Jammu and Kashmir today quashed the allegations of sexual harassment against a professor after an inquiry, saying the charge was apparently an attempt to dent the image of the varsity.
An inquiry was conducted over accusations of associate professor Asgher Ali Shah sexually harassing a girl student even as the complainant was anonymous and there was no evidence in support of the allegations, the university said in a statement.
On March 16, a typed letter was sent by post to several faculty members of the university and a copy of it was also received in the office of the vice-chancellor.
The letter was anonymous, simply mentioning students of BGSBU with no name, no address and no contact numbers and containing allegations of sexual misconduct against Shah, the university said in the statement.
It said there was no plausible evidence of any instance of sexual harassment in the case. “The person cannot be indicted or held guilty merely on the basis of an anonymous letter, the content of which could not be substantiated by any oral or documentary evidence,” it added.
There is no identity of the complainant, no verifiable evidence, no corroborating statement of any person. Hence no charge can be made out on the basis of the above facts of the case, the statement read.
It said the allegations are likely to dent the image of the university which otherwise is making steady progress on all fronts.
Quoting a government order regarding disposal of anonymous or pseudonymous complaints irrespective of the allegations, the university said no action was required to be taken but despite that the vice chancellor immediately ordered that the matter may be comprehensively probed if there is any iota of truth in the allegation.
Since there was neither identity of the complainant nor any evidence with it, it was thought prudent to associate such functionaries who freely interact with the girl students, it said.
Accordingly, the chairperson, women cell and the general warden girls hostel were involved in the inquiry.
The statement said they were requested to investigate if any girl has approached them with any such complaint of sexual harassment particularly related to Shah.
Both the persons, after due inquiry, informed that they have not received any written or verbal complaint of sexual harassment or any kind of mental harassment against Shah from anybody, it said.
On April 6, deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said an enquiry has been initiated into a very serious complaint of sexual harassment against the professor filed by girl students of the varsity.
The DC issued a notice to the vice chancellor of the BGSBU over initiation of a probe into it.
“A prima facie case has been made, based on the evidence presented in the form a Compact Disc (CD) with recorded conversations apart from written complaint received through registered speed post,” he had said.
The complaint is mainly against Shah, however, there are also serious allegations made against the VC and registrar of the university for allegedly shielding the accused by not acting against him or inquiring the matter despite complaints made on various occasions, the DC had said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.