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Top institute prof faces rape charge

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 16:20 IST
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THE INDIAN Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITTM), a premier institution in the country, was in the eye of a storm after an attendant of the girls’ hostel accused a faculty member of raping her.

Uma Gupta, a class IV contractual employee, filed a complaint with the Mahila police station here charging Assistant Professor Dinesh Chand Soni with raping her in his chamber. The police have started investigation, sources said.

Institute director Sitikantha Mishra said on Friday the matter has been referred to a four-member committee headed by Sarita Pradhan of the Bhubaneswar branch.

After looking into the allegations, the committee will submit its report by November 15. The Union Tourism Ministry will be informed about the incident, he added.

Terming the incident as unfortunate, Mishra said that such incidents tarnish the reputation of institute. He added that the complaint letter was forwarded directly to the Union Tourism Ministry without the institute’s knowledge and a copy was marked to the director.

“I was surprised to learn from media persons that such a matter was reported by one of our employees at the police station. Regarding her reporting to the police I do not have any problem, but she could have come to us rather than going to media”, said Mishra.

He said Uma Gupta avoided meeting him despite his repeated calls after his return from Bhubaneswar on November 4. He was on leave till November 4 and Prof Sandeep Kulshreshtha was in charge of the institute.

D C Soni refuted the charges and said the allegation was aimed at tarnishing his reputation. He said he would initiate necessary action after hearing from the police and other investigation agencies.

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