Two faculty members of Andhra University who have been accused of gender based violence were made to sign a bond of around Rs 1 lakh each by the Visakhapatnam police on Thursday. The two accused are R Swami Das, Head of Department of Social Work, and K Ramesh Babu, an Associate Professor in the Department of Marine Living Resources. While Swami Das has been accused of sexually harassing students, Ramesh Babu has been accused of dowry harassment by his wife, who also alleged that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student.
According to the III Town police station Sub-Inspector Rama Rao, students had approached the university administration regarding Swami Das’ behaviour a few days back. Students had complained that Das had been allegedly behaving inappropriately in class and used sexual innuendo while talking to students. Based on news reports of the complaint, police took suo motu action in Das’ case.
A research scholar from the university, who is also a member of the Students' Federation of India (SFI), told TNM that the administration has initiated a probe into the complaints against Swami Das, and that he has been removed from the position of Head of Department while he continues to work as a professor. Swami Das has not been suspended, however there is an inquiry underway against him.
In Ramesh Babu’s case, his wife had filed a police complaint stating that he was treating her badly and was involved in an extramarital relationship with a student scholar at Andhra University. According to reports, Ramesh Babu’s wife had filed a dowry harassment case against him.
Police said that the two faculty members were produced in front of the executive magistrate for counselling, and were made to write executive bonds for around Rs 1 lakh, regarding their behaviour. This was done under Section 41/109 of the CrPC (security for good behaviour from suspected persons).
“Their behaviour will be monitored for upto six months. If there is any further offense, a report will be submitted and they will have to pay a fine,” SI Rama Rao said.
Speaking to reporters, Andhra University Vice Chancellor PVGD Prasad Reddy said, “This is a university that has produced many intellectuals. The character of intellectuals is also important. There’s a chance that some of them have a few character flaws, which brings a bad name to the university. We see such incidents worldwide because of personal flaws.”
Condemning the alleged crimes of the faculty, the VC said, “Teachers must be ethical, and behave like parents. As of now allegations have been made. If they are found true, serious action will be taken.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order - I) G Ranga Reddy told reporters that the VC will be informed of the findings of the investigation. He also told students to approach the police if they were facing harassment from teachers or research guides, assuring that action will be taken while protecting the complainant’s identity.