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Mangalore University to suspend professor two years after sexual harassment complaint

The varsity had been pulled up by the Karnataka State Women’s Commission for inaction earlier in October.

The Mangalore University syndicate has decided to suspend Arabi U, a professor in the economic department, two years after a student accused him of sexual harassment. The University’s syndicate made the decision after the Karnataka State Women’s Commission pulled up the university for inaction, despite the internal committee’s report regarding the incident on October 22. 

Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor PS Yadapadithaya told the media on Friday that a suspension order would be issued to Arabi U on November 2. The university will issue a showcause notice on the same day asking Arabi U to submit a reply as to why the varsity should not terminate his employment for “serious misconduct,” Times of India reported. The report adds that Arabi is expected to respond to the notice by November 12, which is when the next syndicate meeting is scheduled to be held.

In December 2018, a student of Mangalore University had filed a complaint with the varsity’s internal complaints committee that professor Arabi U had sexually harassed her. When the varsity did not take any action, she approached the Karnataka State Women’s Commission the same month, after which the issue came to light. 

In October this year, the 10-member IC (Internal Committee), headed by Monika Sadanand, a professor with the PG studies in biosciences, had submitted the report to the Registrar AM Khan. The Internal Committee had submitted a report in favour of the student and had concluded that it had reason to believe that Arabi U sexually harassed the student. The registrar had failed to place the IC’s report before the varsity’s syndicate. On October 22, the Karnataka State Women’s Commission issued a notice to the varsity, asking why no action was taken against the professor despite the ICC’s report. 

VC Yadapadithya said that Registrar AM Khan has been placed under investigation for “dereliction of duty” and has been asked to reply to a showcause notice for his actions. 

 

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