BHU sends professor accused of sexual harassment on leave after protest
The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Sunday sent a professor accused of sexual harassment on a long leave and decided to refer the complaints registered against him back to the institute’s executive council, a university official familiar with the matter said.
Professor Shail Kumar Chaube was suspended last year after 36 women students accused him of making obscene gestures and passing vulgar comments during a study tour. However, the university’s executive council revoked Chaubey’s suspension in June following an enquiry by its Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). BHU students began a sit-in protest against Chaubey’s reinstatement on Saturday.
“On reconsideration of the matter, it has been decided by the university authorities to refer it [complaints against Chaubey] back to the executive council for a review of its [earlier] decision and till that time Prof Shail Kumar Chaube has been directed to proceed on a long leave,” BHU public relations officer Rajesh Singh said.
Chaube has, however, refuted the allegations levelled against him.
“All allegations made against me are false. These charges were levelled by a few people envious of my progress. Along with me, three other professors, two lab attendants and a guardian also accompanied the students during the tour. I only delivered my duty as a teacher and a guardian of the students to ensure the success of the academic tour,” he said.
The protesting students ended their stir on Sunday and submitted an eight-point memorandum to the university administration, demanding the professor’s expulsion and the registration of a first information report (FIR) against him.