The administration of the Adikavi Nannaya University in Andhra Pradesh has launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against N Surya Raghavendra, Head of Department of English in the varsity.
The incident came to light after three female students wrote to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, alleging that the professor would frequently harass women and request sexual favours.
They alleged that he would conduct frequent 'special classes' as a ruse to harass them and threaten that he would fail them in their subjects, if they attempted to complain against him.
While the contents of the letter have not been made public in its entirety, sources in the CMO confirmed that the office received the representation and forwarded it to the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education.
Following this, the university has begun a probe.
Adikavi Nannaya University Vice-Chancellor Suresh Varma told reporters, "We received a letter from the AP State Council of Higher Education earlier this week. Immediately as per due process, we handed over the complaint to the Women Cell on campus for investigation."
"Generally, we receive complaints directly as students approach us. No matter what complaint we get, we take it very seriously. The Women Cell coordinator was on Dasara holiday. The students are back on Monday. We have called her back to begin investigation. As soon as she submits her report, we will take action accordingly," he added.
The VC said that the English Department was established in 2006 and had 60 students in two classes, besides four permanent faculty members. Surya Raghavendra had been working at the university since 2008.
He added that ensuring that the students have a safe environment to study was their utmost priority.
"We have never got such complaints in the past from the English Department, but we will take it seriously and ensure speedy action," the VC said.
Meanwhile, East Godavari Collector Muralidhar Reddy also responded to the incident, telling reporters, "I have spoken to the VC. He said that he had referred it to the committee. As soon as the enquiry is complete, we will take action. We will monitor the case and ensure that a fair enquiry is conducted."