The incident of alleged molestation of a girl student by her professor has put a blemish on the prestigious Visvesvaraya National Institute Technology (VNIT).
The accused professor S S Sonawane remains absconding, while the victim girl, a student of BTech first year, is under trauma and had to be hospitalized. Her family registered a complaint with the local police against Sonawane.
Students of college staged protest outside the college administrative building against the professor demanding his immediate arrest.
According to Ambazari police station, which is probing the matter, informed that they have searched Sonawane’s residence on the college campus. His cell phone, too, is switched off.
College registrar Bhashkar G Rao informed that they apprised the incident to VNIT director T Srinivasa Rao. “An enquiry committee under the chairmanship of AG Kothari of the electrical engineering department was constituted to probe the matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, many VNIT teachers feel that the girl had levelled false charges against Sonawane -- who is considered a strict disciplinarian -- as she was afraid after being caught with a male friend in a restricted area for students on the campus. Sonawane might have said that he would report the matter to the girl’s family and this may have triggered her reaction, they pointed out.
On Wednesday morning, the victim was sitting with a close friend in the lawns of the college campus, when a security guard scolded them, seized their identity cards and gave it to Sonawane. The professor then called her to his cabin. She came out fairly upset and crying, alleging that the teacher had outraged her modesty, she mentioned in her statement to the police.
Anil Katkade, the police inspector of Ambazari police station, informed that they were looking for Sonawane. “We have interrogated Sonawane’s father and father-in-law about his whereabouts but in vain,” he said.