In his reply to the University Grants Commission fact-finding committee on July 6, Panjab University (PU) vicechancellor (V-C) Arun Kumar Grover has accused the senior woman professor, who lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him, of indulging in unacademic ventures which reveal her mindset and other syndicate and senate members she associates herself with.
In his response, the V-C maintained that unlike a university professor, she had been pursuing un-academic course in settling matter that are highly academic in nature and call for dialogue, discussion and deliberations.
To support his contention, the V-C quoted one instance where the woman professor joined a hunger strike initiated by two senators on February 17, 2014, to force a unilateral decision on a complex issue of rotation of headship in the newly created institutes and centres on the campus.
He claimed that she garlanded one of the persons sitting on hunger strike just before the start of the indefinite fast and sat in a dharna outside the V-C’s office along with some members of the senate and syndicate for two days, raised slogans and invited student bodies to support them.
The rotation of headship had been referred to the syndicate, which was due to meet a few days later, and the protesters wanted the agenda item to be withdrawn. “I did not yield and the protesters ended the fast on the second day,” claimed the V-C. As an evidence, the V-C submitted photographs of the event to the committee. “Time and again, the problems have been fanned, resolution of the problems has been delayed and indiscipline protected,” stated the V-C. He also provided minutes of the syndicate and senate meetings to highlight the behaviour of the woman professor and her associates.
RATIONALE BEHIND FORWARDING COMPLAINT TO PU PANEL
Responding to query posed by the UGC committee about the rationale behind forwarding the complaint to the PU Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH), the V-C said: “I referred her complaint without any delay in view of her personal allegation against me of selectively winking at her and other assertion of her complaint, which amounted to absence of safe environment for her and other women employees at PU. In the complaint filed by her to the Chandigarh Police, the opening sentence of the complaint stated that the applicant has already brought the offence of sexual harassment committed by Arun Grover to notice of chancellor Hamid Ansari.”