Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Amid speculations over his whereabouts as he is reported to have gone underground after charges of sexual harassment against him by two girl students Professor Tapan Ranjan Mohanty of the National Law Institute University (NLIU) said on Sunday if police issued a notice to him, he would respond to it appropriately.
Prof Mohanty whose phone was found switched off and he was reported not staying at his home could be contacted on Sunday when he said he was willing to give reply to any notice served on him.
When asked about any further steps by him after the FIRs have been lodged against him he told Free Press that it was for the police to take action.
Mohanty, who has resigned from his job after he was charged by students with sexual harassment, admitted that he was not staying on the campus of the university. But, he said, he was not absconding.
Why should I live in a place where the atmosphere is hostile against me, he clarified.
On the police part, a police officer said they couldnít take action on the FIRs as they were busy maintaining law and order on the occasion of Holi.
Notably, on March 17 evening, the girl students of NLIU reached Mahila police station and lodged FIRs against Mohanty under section 354 (Assault of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Though police have refused to disclose, as per sources some more sections of IPC have been added in the FIRs.
Sources told Free Press that in the FIR, the Professor has been charged with allegedly touching female students inappropriately and misusing his position of authority.
Some students alleged that Professor Mohanty used to ask the girl students to send videos of their recordings singing film songs or dancing ìso that he can judge their performanceî for cultural events. He also used to rank students on the basis of their beauty.
Mohanty denied all charges of sexual harassment and said he tendered his resignation under pressure from students.
Section 354 of the IPC reads: Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. The offence is non-bailable and cognisable.