Po­lice ar­rest pro­fes­sor who 'lured' girl stu­dents

Po­lice pick up as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor af­ter 5-hour wait out­side her res­i­dence; var­sity con­sti­tutes panel

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

The Arup­pukot­tai Town Po­lice picked up as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor Nir­mala Devi of De­vanga Col­lege here on Mon­day on the charge of at­tempt­ing to lure four girl stu­dents. She was booked under Sec­tions 370 and 511 of the IPC and under the In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Act.

Amidst high drama, the Arup­pukot­tai Town Po­lice picked up as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor Nir­mala Devi of De­vanga Col­lege here on Mon­day evening on the charge of at­tempt­ing to traf­fic four girl stu­dents of the in­sti­tu­tion.

“She has been picked up for an en­quiry. She could be ar­rested af­ter the en­quiry,” Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice (Virud­hu­na­gar) M. Ra­jara­jan said.

Ear­lier in the day when po­lice of­fi­cials turned up at her house for in­ter­ro­gat­ing her in con­nec­tion with a com­plaint lodged against her for al­legedly “lur­ing” four col­lege girls for an ‘undis­closed’ as­sign­ment to help of­fi­cials of the Madu­rai Ka­ma­raj Univer­sity, Ms. Devi locked her­self up in­side her house. She did not re­spond when the po­lice knocked on the doors.

The po­lice, along with a strong posse of me­dia per­son­nel, waited for more than five hours as she had re­port­edly switched off her mo­bile phone. The po­lice ini­tially said that they would break open the door in the pres­ence of rev­enue of­fi­cials and her rel­a­tives. But, af­ter dark­ness set in, she came out and the po­lice whisked her away in a ve­hi­cle.

Po­lice com­plaint

Ear­lier, on a com­plaint lodged by the col­lege sec­re­tary R. Ra­masamy against Ms. Devi, who had been placed under sus­pen­sion (she is an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Math­e­mat­ics), the po­lice had booked her under Sec­tions 370 and 511 of the In­dian Pe­nal Code and under the pro­vi­sions of the In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Act for the con­ver­sa­tion she had us­ing the mo­bile phone.

The com­plainant also handed over pe­ti­tions given by the four girls to the col­lege prin­ci­pal last month.

The fi­nal-year stu­dents had ac­cused Ms. Devi of promis­ing them good marks in their se­mes­ter ex­am­i­na­tion, aca­demic progress and also money in re­turn for un­der­tak­ing some “ur­gent as­sign­ment” as­signed to her by “the higher of­fi­cials of the MKU”.

Pres­sure from stu­dents

Af­ter the au­dio clip of the con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Ms. Devi and her stu­dents went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia, the col­lege au­thor­i­ties on Sun­day

clar­i­fied that Ms. Devi was placed under sus­pen­sion on March 21 based on their en­quiry into the stu­dents’ com­plaint.

The col­lege au­thor­i­ties who were hes­i­tant to lodge a po­lice com­plaint on Sun­day came under pres­sure on Mon­day af­ter stu­dents and mem­bers of var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions staged a protest in front of the in­sti­tu­tion seek­ing po­lice en­quiry into the “ugly episode” and the ar­rest of Ms. Devi and MKU of­fi­cials in­volved in it.

SPE­CIAL AR­RANGE­MENT ■

Tense mo­ments: The po­lice had a tough time as Nir­mala Devi (in­set) locked her­self in­side her house.

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