Skip to main content

Sexual harassment case at Gujarat institute IRMA takes new turn: Faculty members ask board to hear them

By Nachiketa Desai*
The board meeting of Gujarat’s well-known Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), is expected to be a stormy on Tuesday with some of the faculty members of the top institute bent on raising the issue of alleged sexual harassment (click HERE to read) of a senior staff member by the IRMA director.
In a letter, a group of faculty members have urged the IRMA board members to give them a hearing saying the director and some anonymous callers have been intimidating the witnesses of the sexual harassment case ever since the victim filed a police case.
"We have received explicit as well as veiled threats even from anonymous callers," the faculty members complained in their letter.
"Over the past few weeks the incumbent director has in many ways tried to coerce and intimidate individual faculty and witnesses putting them under tremendous stress and pressure, issues concerning the safety and protection of the complainant have been raised," the letter said.
"Under these conditions the faculty group strongly feels that they cannot function in a normal manner as long as the current director is allowed to have access to IRMA's resources during pendency of the case." Thus, the faculty members have indirectly sought the suspension of the director.
***  
Reproduced below is the text of the letter. The names of the faculty members, who have signed it, have been withdrawn on request for anonymity:
"Concerned over the unfortunate turn of events following the recent complaint of sexual harassment fled by a woman employee of IRMA and having utmost regard to gender sensitivity, a faculty group of IRMA met twice (March 31 and April 5, 2017) to discuss and convey its views. The group expressed anguish over the way events have unfolded hurting the image of IRMA and felt that a representation be submitted to the Board sharing the faculty concerns, especially owing to lack of communication between faculty and Board on these issues. It would be immensely helpful for the faculty and the Institute if members of Board of Governors spare time for faculty so that the serious concerns are put forth and draw an immediate attention of the Board.
"The members of faculty brought to light several untoward incidents that have happened following the registration of case with the police. Faculty members, including witnesses in the case, shared that they have received explicit as well as veiled threats even from anonymous sources. In addition, over the last weeks, the incumbent director has in many ways tried to coerce and intimidate individual faculty and the witnesses putting them under tremendous stress and pressure. Issues concerning the safety and protection of the complainant also have been raised. Under these conditions the faculty group strongly feels that they cannot function in a normal manner as long as the current director is allowed to have access to IRMA’s resources during pendency of the case. We urge that the complainant and witnesses be given the necessary safeguards in seeking justice.
"Without doubt, all these have seriously affected the overall morale and functioning of the institute, especially when the crucial admission process of PRM/RPRM is on. The events have their media reporting have put IRMA’s reputation built assiduously over the years under severe scrutiny."
---
*Consulting Editor (Political), United News of India

Comments

TRENDING

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

People's pressure? GPCB mining cancellation 'notice' to top cement unit in Gujarat

By Sagar Rabari*
Environmental Clearance (EC) was given to Ultratech Cement Co Ltd for limestone mining in villages Talli and Bambhor of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on January 5, 2017. EC was issued ignoring, overriding and undermining opposition from local farmers to mining activity in the area. The mining in these two villages covers an area of 193.3268 hectares (ha), while the entire project is spread over an area of 1,715.1311 ha.

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

NHRC notice to Gujarat chief secretary following silicosis deaths in Rajkot

By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Gujarat chief secretary and the district magistrate, Rajkot, to respond to a complaint filed by health rights activist Jagdish Patel of the People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, regarding the alleged death of Raju Prakash Parihar and two others reportedly because of silicosis, a fatal occupation disease, in Rajkot, one of Gujarat’s top cities.

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”