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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

IIM VP, faculty accused of sexual harassment

Deepak Mahato, Hindustan Times  Ranchi, July 27, 2014
First Published: 18:55 IST(27/7/2014) | Last Updated: 19:08 IST(27/7/2014)
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ranchi was plunged into turmoil after a top management and a core faculty member were accused of sexual misdemeanour and intimidation by colleagues and a group of students.
 
The two incidents are, however, not related.
 
While Sasadhar Bera, a faculty of operations management, was accused of sexual harassment by a female colleague, a group of students and faculty have charged vice-president (administration) retd col BK Nair of trying to force students into a narcotics racket with the help of a few former army personnel.
 
Nair was also accused of visiting the girls' hostel under the influence of alcohol at odd hours under the pretext of inspections.
 
On Friday, the victim lodged an FIR with Kotwali police station against Bera claiming that she had informed the management about the matter but no action was taken.
 
Bera, however, denied the charges but refused to say anything on the issue.
 
On Saturday evening, a team representing the institute's faculty and students met Jharkhand human resource development minister Geetashree Oraon and lodged a written complaint against Nair.
 
However, the team members did not elaborate their allegations while speaking to reporters later.
 
Nair denied the charges against him and merely said, "Everybody knows the truth. Things will be crystal clear after investigation".
 
The HRD minister termed "the allegations serious" and added that a board will be constituted to investigate the matter.
 
However, the issue of sexual harassment against Bera was not raised during the meeting with Oraon.
 
Ranchi city superintendent of police (SP) Anup Birthray confirmed the complaint which has mentioned that the Bera has been "making comments with sexual innuendoes to her (complainant) for the past two months".
 
Police have registered a case against Bera under IPC sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 354 (force intimidation of a woman, intending to outrage her modesty).
 
A female sub-inspector rank officer is investigating the matter, informed Kotwali police station officer in-charge Arvind Sinha.
 
Sinha added that the investigating officer visited the institute campus but could not meet either the accused or the complainant.
 
IIM-Ranchi director BB Chakrabarty claimed that he had not received any complaint in either of the two cases.
 
"An enquiry will be set up according to our guidelines to find the facts. Action will only be taken accordingly by the management," he said.
 
Chief secretary Sajal Chakraverty, also a member of IIM-R board of directors, said one lady had turned up with a verbal complaint and another student informed him about it on phone.
 
"I have asked them to submit it in written, the government can take further action only after that," he said.
 
IIM-Ranchi, one among 13 similar institutes in the country, was set up in 2010 and offers four major courses including post graduate diploma in management programme (PGDM), post graduate diploma in human resource management (PGHRM), fellow programme in management (FPM) and executive program to around 350 students.
 
The institute has 12 core faculty members and around 99 visiting faculty members. 
 
The institute runs from a temporary campus in Soochna Bhavan and the hostels are located elsewhere at Khelgaon.

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