The Madras Christian College in Chennai has sacked a professor from the department of Zoology after he was found guilty of sexually harassing the female students of the department during a college tour. R Raveen, who was an assistant professor in the Zoology department was dismissed after a detailed inquiry by the college Internal Complaints Committee into the incident.
His colleague Samuel Tennyson, another faculty from the department, too had been accused of abetting Raveen's behaviour. However, the college is yet to dismiss Samuel due to a case filed by him on the issue in the Madras High Court.
MCC's principal Alexander Jesudasan confirmed the dismissal. "We have dismissed the professor after the ICC found him guilty of multiple cases of sexual harassment against students of the department. As for Samuel, the college cannot issue a dismissal order as there is a court case pending on the issue. However, the court has directed Samuel not to enter the campus premises," the principal said.
A student from the Zoology department also added that the dismissed professor had not visited the college for over three weeks. "Ever since college re-opened in June, he has not been coming to college. I had enquired with the other staff of the department and they also said that his attendance book showed that he was 'officially dismissed as per government norms',” the student added.
In February this year, the dismissed professor along with Samuel Tennyson had taken a group of 50 students to Karnataka as part of a college excursion. During the trip, several girl students complained that the professor in question made lewd remarks about their clothes, harassed them and behaved inappropriately. They also alleged that throughout the trip, Tennyson had abetted Raveen’s behaviour by encouraging him.
On returning to Chennai, the students complained to the Head of the Department who dismissed their complaints, calling it a 'first time offence' by the said teacher. Later, a petition signed by 30 odd students of the department protesting the college's lack of initiative in addressing the issue caught the attention of the authorities.
An ICC inquiry was held on the issue, and statements of the students who were subjected to harassment and the accused professors were recorded. On May 24, the ICC released the results of the inquiry which found both the professors guilty.
"We have not not received any official intimation by the college authorities regarding the professor's dismissal. However, we heard from teachers of the department that action has been taken. Further, the headmaster even confirmed this to the media," the student added.
Read our earlier report on the issue: 2 Madras Christian College profs found guilty of sexual harassment by internal panel