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#MeToo: Symbiosis university suspends two professors on sexual harassment charges; sends director on leave

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 23 October 2018, 12:58 IST

Amidst the #MeToo movement in India, which has led to severe ramifications of known personalities, the latest development comes from the Symbiosis University Pune, where two professors of SCMC have been suspended and the director has been sent on leave.

Earlier, around 106 students of the university, present and alumni have given in writing that the director Anupam Siddhratha have been involved in sexual harassment cases since a very long time. The university immediately took cognizance of the complaint and had sent the director on leave, until an inquiry had been put up.

The universities ICC (Internal Complaints Council) started the investigation in the case and later on, suspended two more professors namely Vijay Shelar and Suhas Gatne of the Symbiosis Center for Media and Communication.

Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis International University (SIU) said, “The final report from the ICC will take some time but as per the interim report, we have suspended both the professors accused in the petition. The director has also been sent on forced leave. The ICC is still in getting in touch with former students which will take a while longer.”

The petition submitted by the group of students even mentions that “Apart from workplace harassment, Anupam Siddhartha has also failed to take any action against professors accused of sexual harassment. Two faculty members — Suhas Gatne and Vijay Shelar — have been accused of sexual misconduct on campus. Though these incidents have come up in the light of #MeToo, we have testimonials from students who confirmed having complained to Anupam Siddhartha about these professors many years ago. In one testimonial, a student recounts that Siddhartha had dismissed the (female) student’s complaints against Shelar by saying “When have you ever acted like a girl, to deserve to be treated as one?”

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First published: 23 October 2018, 12:58 IST