Odisha professer arrested for sexual harassment of Dalit student

  • Priya Ranjan Sahu, Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2016 16:41 IST

Police arrested a professor of a government-run medical college in Odisha for alleged sexual harassment and intimidation of a post-graduate Dalit student, officials said on Saturday.

Laxmidhar Das, head of the anaesthesia department of the SCB Medical College and Hospital, was arrested on Friday following a complaint from the first-year post-graduate student a day earlier.

“Dr Das has been booked under sections 354, 354A and 354B of Indian Penal Code (all related to outraging modesty of women, demanding sexual favour) and Section 3 of ST and SC (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,” said Arun Swain, Mangalabag police station in-charge Arun Swain.

Das refuted the allegation saying he was framed by vested interests.

Hundreds of students of the medical college held a protest rally on Saturday inside the campus demanding ouster and strong action against the professor.

The Dalit student, who hails from Puducherry, is said to be the daughter of a former minister allied to the DMK. She had taken admission in the post-graduate course for anaesthesia in the medical college.

She said in her complaint that Das had made advances and sexually harassing her for the last six months. He allegedly asked her to accompany him for dinner and conferences outside the state.

On two occasions, he called her to his room and tried to establish physical contact, she alleged.

Prior to lodging a complaint with the police, the student had complained to the principal and superintendent of the college against the professor. The college authorities have initiated a probe by a five-member internal committee.

Police recorded the statement of the student and took possession of a pen drive purportedly containing recorded conversations between Dr Das and the girl on different occasions. The police also talked to several other students, teachers and interrogated Dr Das before arresting him.

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