Free Press Journal

Woman Prof held for ‘luring’ students, TN Guv orders probe


Chennai : An assistant professor of Devanga Arts College, a private institution in Aruppukottai, was on Monday arrested on charges of attempting to traffic four of her girl students claiming that some high official of the Madurai Kamaraj University wanted their services.

With the CPI (M) State secretary K Balakrishnan insinuating that the Raj Bhavan could have a role in the incident, Governor Banwarilal Purohit quickly ordered a probe headed by retired IAS officer Santhanam into the entire episode (The Raj Bhavan press release made no reference to the party statement.) The CPI (M) leader in a statement made a reference to a recent report alleging that the Home Ministry was inquiring into sexual harassment complaints against a Governor of a south Indian State.

The entire controversy began last month when Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor of Mathematics of the college had a 20-minute telephonic conversation with four undergraduate girl students after asking one of the girls to switch on the phone’s speaker. During the course of the conversation she told the girls that an “urgent opportunity” has come for doing certain things “secretly” for a very senior official of the Madurai Kamaraj University to which the college is affiliated. While she did not mention what the girls were required to do Nirmala Devi said, “Being college girls you would have grasped what those ‘certain things’ are.”

She promised the girls financial support remitted into their bank accounts each month and academic support to pursue education without hassles up to PhD level.

She kept telling the reluctant girls to think clearly and take an independent decision. When they were not game for it, she asked them not to reveal about the conversation to anybody.

On a complaint from the girls, the college suspended Nirmala Devi last month.

Matters would have rested there but for a leak of the telephonic conversation, which was recorded by the girls, on social media on Sunday. The teacher claimed that she did not have any bad intentions.

On Monday following a protest by student groups the teacher, a mother of two grown up children, was arrested on charges of trafficking and Information Technology Act.