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Two Andhra University professors booked for sexual harassment

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By Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: The city police on Thursday filed bind over cases against two Andhra University professors under Section 41/109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) following allegations of sexual harassment against them.

The professors were counselled by the MRO, who is the executive magistrate, and furnished a Rs 1 lakh bond each, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ranga Reddy said.

K Ramesh Babu of the MLR department had been booked under Section 498A following a complaint by his wife, the DCP said, adding that a fresh complaint of harassment was now lodged against him, and a case registered under Section 41/109 of the CrPC.

Meanwhile, a suo moto case was registered against the Social Work Department head Ragala Swamidas, following reports that he harassed students with double entendres. The DCP said it was unfortunate that professors, who ought to counsel students and teach them good behaviour, were now forced to undergo counselling by the MRO.

Action will be taken against those found guilty as per the law, regardless of the position they hold, DCP Ranga Reddy said and urged students, researchers and others not to fear but to complain if they face any such problems. He promised that details of complainants would be kept confidential.

He said that a virtual police station would soon be set up on the campus of Andhra University, which students could use to lodge their complaints. The police, in association with the authorities of Andhra University, will strive to solve the problems being faced by students and researchers, the DCP said, adding that the police would not take it lightly if anyone misbehaves with female students.

He further said that academicians should strive to mould students into good citizens of the country, and it was unfortunate that cases under Section 41/109, which are generally registered against criminals, were now filed against teachers.

After the cases against the professors are investigated, reports will be submitted to the vice-chancellor, and based on these reports, the vice-chancellor will take action, the DCP said. The filing of cases against the two professors came within 48 hours of the arrest of an assistant professor accused of sexually harassing a woman on a bus.

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