The accused allegedly sent several obscene messages to the student over a period of time, following which she lodged a complaint.

Student alleges sexual harassment at Hyderabads NIN scientist suspendedImage: Screenshot/YouTube
news Sexual Harassment Monday, May 14, 2018 - 15:37

A scientist at Hyderabad’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has been placed under suspension after a girl student filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him.

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. His research specialisation includes development of analytical methods and generation of databases for nutrients, non-nutrients, anti-nutrients and contaminants, and as well as dietetics.

He is a recognised PhD supervisor in Nutrition and Biochemistry and would guide students. The complainant was 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.

The student also reportedly furnished screenshots of the phone messages she had received from Bhaskarachary. She is said to hail from a poor Dalit family.

When TNM reached out to NIN Director Dr R Hemalatha, she said, “We have indeed received a written complaint on May 10, 2018 from one of the students of our institute against the said scientist. As per the norms of the institute, we have immediately placed the accused under suspension and a high power committee has been constituted as per the guidelines and a probe has been initiated.”

The NIN’s website also states that Dr Bhaskarachary was bestowed with an Award of Excellence and was recognised as a Fellow of the Society for Biotechnology in 2011. He also won the Young Scientist award from the Nutrition Society of India (1995) and the Indian Dietetic Association (1993).

He is also a guest faculty and resource person in institutes such as the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) and Osmania University.

When TNM tried to contact Dr Bhaskarachary, his phone was switched off.

Recently, the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) in Chennai came under the scanner with regard to the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against one of its adjunct professors, Sadanand Menon. A statement, signed by activists, students, media personnel and former adjunct faculty at the college, was released after attempts to get justice for the victims hit a roadblock. While ACJ justified not taking action against the professor and said they did not have the jurisdiction to do so, it said that Sadanand Menon had decided not to teach his elective course the next year.

 

Read:

‘Asian College of Journalism must probe Sadanand Menon’: Statement on sexual abuse allegations

ACJ statement on sexual harassment allegations: Sadanand Menon not to teach next year

 

 

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