Dr Bhaskarachary, a senior scientist at Hyderabad’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), was placed under suspension earlier this week.

Dismiss scientist from Hyds NIN over sexual harassment claims petition demands
news Controversy Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 07:56

Days after a senior scientist at Hyderabad’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) was placed under suspension over a complaint of sexual harassment against him, an online petition has been started seeking his permanent dismissal.

The petition on Change.org has close to 500 signatures at the time of writing.

“Dietitians, nutritionists and students of nutrition in various cities are harassed by this man on different levels. Cheap messages, commenting on the body and with the recent issue of harassment coming to light, it is just getting worse. This is not the first time. He has been warned, firmly spoken to and even counselled but there’s been no change,” the petition states.

“He takes advantage of his position to get in touch with women. It is high time he is dismissed permanently from his position to stop this vicious cycle. Suspension doesn’t help, as he gets his job back and gets a chance to do all this again. Please help us make this change in our community,” it adds.

Many people who signed the petition also said that they had faced similar experiences of misconduct from him, while stating their reasons for demanding his dismissal.

While one user wrote that she received ‘filthy’ messages on WhatsApp and was forced to block him, another user wrote, “Me and my friend have encountered his misbehaviour during visits to NIN. Smartly, we could escape from him and avoided him continuously over the years to avoid such circumstances. I believe many other fellow nutritionists or women might have encountered the same. I wish the position he held had not been misused and no such incident should ever be repeated.”

The accused, Dr K Bhaskarachary, is a Grade E scientist in the institute’s Food Chemistry Division.

According to NIN’s website, Bhaskarachary has a Masters in Life Sciences and Ph.D. in Biochemistry. He is a recognised PhD supervisor in Nutrition and Biochemistry and guides students. The complainant is said to be one of the students who was assigned to work under him.

According to media reports, the accused allegedly sent several obscene messages to the complainant over a period of time, following which she lodged a complaint with the Director on May 10.

 

Read: Student alleges sexual harassment at Hyderabad's NIN, scientist suspended

 

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