TN Prof held for trying to lure students into flesh trade
Chennai: After an audio clip of her luring students into prostitution went viral, Nirmala Devi, Assistant Professor with the Mathematics department of the Devanga Arts College was arrested on Monday in Virudhunagar, even as Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Madurai Kamaraj University ordered separate probes in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
The assistant professor of the autonomous college was arrested from her residence after seven hours of drama as she locked herself inside the house when the police reached there.
Based on a complaint lodged by college secretary R Ramasamy in Virudhunagar district, a case was registered against Nirmala Devi under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 370 (Buying or disposing of any person as a slave), 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment), and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form).
The audio clip of Nirmala Devi trying to persuade her students to engage in giving sexual favours to high-ranking officials of the university had gone viral on Sunday, leading to college authorities placing her under suspension. Members of All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA) along with students staged a sit-in protest in front of the college, pressing the college authorities to file a police complaint in the incident that happened in mid-March.
Citing media reports of the immoral happenings in the college at Aruppukottai, Governor Purohit on Monday ordered a high powered inquiry by retired IAS officer R Santhanam into the issue after a report was submitted by the university. “It is important to inquire into such matters immediately and without prejudice, so that the guilty do not escape without punishment,” the statement said. Earlier, the university has separately ordered a probe by a five-member committee into the incident, while the college also formed a disciplinary committee to probe the matter.
In the 19-minute audio clip, Devi who calls her students affectionately as ‘Kanna’ (Dear) attempts to entrap them to give sexual favours in return for money and academic progress. Without using any direct reference to sexual favours, she indirectly implies that as a teacher, she had supported them till now academically. “Now an opportunity is awaiting them to take their life to the next level,” she allegedly said in the audio clip, pointing out that they could earn money and it would be transferred directly to their bank accounts.
When the girls’ appeared to be uninterested, she became insistent, saying that it was for “a person belonging to a very, very high-level. You can consider it as a favour.” She also asks them to take their own time and get back to her in a couple of days.