BHU: Professor suspended last year for sexual misconduct reinstated
A professor at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), who was suspended in October last year over allegations of sexual misconduct by at least 36 students, has been reinstated by its Executive Council, headed by Vice-Chancellor (V-C) Professor Rakesh Bhatnagar.
This triggered a protest by students on Saturday, demanding his suspension and a police case against Professor Shail Kumar Choubey.
Earlier on Friday, four students, on behalf of others, had submitted a memorandum to the V-C against the reinstatement of the professor.
Bhatnagar, however, said that the Executive Council has decided to mention the allegations in the service record of Professor Choubey as his “major punishment”. “The inquiry report filed by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) stated that Professor Choubey should get major penalty. We have decided to make the allegations, part of his service record, which will be submitted by him if he applies for any new position in future,” Bhatnagar said.
He added that Choubey, a professor of zoology, was suspended only till the completion of the inquiry. “That is the procedure. The Executive Council has decided to give him major penalty by making the allegations part of his service record,” said the V-C.
Asked if Choubey will now begin teaching again, the V-C said, “Naturally, he will.”
A member of the ICC, who did not wish to be identified, however, told The Sunday Express that the report filed by the committee had clearly said that Choubey is a “repeat offender and is not fit to teach”.
“The decision to reinstate him goes against the ICC report, which found him unfit for teaching job. Thirty six students of BSc final year had complained against him that he had made sexual advances towards them during an educational tour. There were allegations of passing lewd comments on girls during classes too,” said the member.
The V-C said Professor Choubey would not be sent on any educational tour or be given charge of any such activity, as part of his punishment.
The students, however, protested against the decision infront of the main entrance of the BHU on Saturday.
A protester said that the demonstration will go on all night and continue on Sunday.
“We want Professor Choubey to be suspended and an FIR registered against him. We will continue our protest till action is taken against him,” said a student.
“He (V-C) told us that the university can not take more action against Choubey. He also told us that he will not be able to get a higher post in his life and that is enough punishment for him,” said Neeraj Rai, a student of MA (Hindi), who was among those who submitted the memorandum on Friday.
The professor was not available for comments.