‘How many more Nirmala Devis are there?’

Tiruvannamalai: Tiruvannamalai District Principal Judge Magizhendhi today said he will take necessary action against the professors of Tamilnadu Agricultural University who were recently accused of sexual harassment by a student studying there.

Magizhendhi made an inquiry into the allegations and registered the student’s statements.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “I have written to the concerned officials to start an inquiry and immediately transfer the student to another college so that her studies are not affected. She narrated the torture she underwent over the last seven months and the police have been directed to start investigations. We will take the necessary actions against the professors mentioned in the student’s statement if they are found guilty.”

Speaking about the unfortunate incident, Magizhendhi said, “It is shameful that the person who gave sexual torture to the girl was an associate professor.”

“How many more Nirmala Devis are there hidden in the colleges and universities of Tamilnadu?” he questioned, expressing his regret.

How things unfolded

The said college is located in Thiruvannamalai district’s Thandarampattu. On Wednesday, a second-year girl student studying in the college and staying in its hostel submitted a petition to Magizhendhi complaining of sexual harassment and misconduct by the hostel warden and associate professor, Thangapandian.

The letter reportedly written by the girl to the dean of her college alleged that she was sexually harassed for the past seven months.

She claimed that though she complained about the incident to Punitha, the deputy warden of her hostel, she was warned not to reveal anything.

In an audio reportedly released by the girl, two women wardens, Punitha and Mythili, were heard threatening the girl to forget the issue to ensure that her future is not affected. She then submitted a 40-page-petition to the judge on Wednesday.

University reacts

But in a fresh twist to the tale today, the college has dismissed the allegations made by the student against the professor and wardens. The girl had been suspended from hostel after complaints of stealing by other students, they said.

Sources say that the associate professor has since been suspended, pending inquiry. An inquiry has been initiated against the hostel wardens too, the official said adding that all three of them will be transferred by next week after university examinations are over.

The bail petitions filed by professor Nirmala Devi and Murugan who are named as the main accused in sex for marks and money scandal that rocked the State recently, has been postponed for hearing to 27 August by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.