Two complaints, one college

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Colleague harassing us: Women teachers

From The Times of India, Jun 25, 2010

CHENNAI: Infighting among faculty of the zoology department of the Presidency College came out in the open on Thursday with a group of women teachers led by the head of the department Mazher Sultana lodging a sexual harassment complaint against a male colleague.

Sultana, accompanied by some female colleagues, submitted a complaint at the Chennai police commissionerate, alleging that Maria Charles was repeatedly using abusive language and making vulgar gesticulations to women staff members. She said that on June 17 during a departmental meeting, he had abused her using double entendres. “In spite of repeated representations to higher officials no action has been taken for the smooth running of the department. The threatening vulgar gestures and sarcastic comments have made the work place unsafe for everyone especially the women staff,” Sultana alleged in her complaint.

This is the second case of sexual harassment against a faculty member of the oldest college in Tamil Nadu. Earlier this month, the police had arrested the head of the public administration department Madhavan for allegedly misbehaving with a research scholar.

Meanwhile, inquiries revealed that infighting was common in many departments in the Presidency College. “Of the 14 staff members in the zoology department, only two are non-controversial. The rest are always scheming. Charles is known for his intemperate behaviour and some of the women staff also retaliate in the same language,” said a professor.

On an earlier occasion the directorate of collegiate education had initiated an inquiry and ordered the transfer of several zoology teachers based on a complaint. Immediately, the complaint was withdrawn and the matter was put to rest.

Read the full story here.

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