Sexual harassment case: Karimganj College prof. Partha Sarathi Das gets clean chit
One of the most prestigious institutions in Barak Valley, Karimganj College turned into a battlefield last month when a student alleged that a teacher sexually harassed her. November 22, 2019, a student pursuing graduation in the college alleged that Prof. Partha Sararthi Das tried to force himself on her. She also mentioned about an incident that occurred a couple of days prior to that where they both got on the same tuk-tuk and he touched her inappropriately.
Her fellow students immediately reacted to her allegations and started demanding for Das’ arrest. They went on to abuse him, manhandle him, create a ruckus in the college premises, block roads. Karimganj Police had to intervene with ‘Lathi Charge’ to bring the situation under control. Assistant professor, department of botany and biotechnology Partha Sararthi Das, was arrested by the police based on the complaint registered by the student.
Astonishingly, just a day after the arrest, the complainant decided to withdraw the complaint and Das was released. The court asked the alleged victim if she was withdrawing the case under pressure to which she responded negatively. The court then said that there is no reason for them to keep Das in custody and therefore he was released.
Following that, an internal inquiry committee was set up by the college administration. The committee found Das to be innocent and gave him a clean chit. The committee found that HOD, Zoology department, professor Arup Dey instigated the students against Partha Sarathi Das and played a vital role in the ruckus that was created in the college. Dey has been relieved from all additional responsibilities (non-academical) for a period of two years. The committee has also identified six students (four girls and two boys) who intentionally tried to defame the professor and in the process shamed the institution. Four girls will be issued a transfer certificate after their examinations are over and two boys have been expelled already.
Speaking with Barak Bulletin, Partha Sarathi Das described the entire incident as a “nightmare”. He said, “I feel it should not even happen with even my foe.” Demanding actions against the professor whom the committee found guilty of conspiring against Das, he said, “Our society should impose stringent measures against demon teachers who play politics with innocent students. Give harsh punishment.”