Accused TISS prof sent on indefinite leave
MUMBAI: Almost 10 days after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) received an official complaint by a former student, accusing a senior professor of sexually assaulting her, the accused has been asked to go on indefinite leave. The institute’s internal complaints committee (ICC), which deals with matters of sexual harassment on campus, is currently conducting an inquiry into the ex-student’s allegations.
“The minute we received a written complaint from the victim, we put together an inquiry committee to look into this matter. The professor, who is anyway on leave at present, has been asked to stay off the campus until the inquiry is complete,” said an official from the institute.
In a letter addressed to the TISS director, the accused professor has also assured the institute of his full cooperation with any inquiry initiated by the institute.
The incident first came to light on October 27, when the survivor uploaded a post on a social media website, narrating various incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2006, when she was pursuing her Masters in Arts (MA) at TISS. In her post, the student revealed that she and the accused, a senior professor and a research guide, shared a professional relationship during the two-year period, but he ‘abused’ her towards the end of the course.
“Besides attending his classes, I interacted closely with him as I helped him organise a speaker series... The normality of the relationship made it all the more difficult when things changed over the last two or three months at TISS after I opted to submit a thesis under his supervision,” read her post, which further states how the professor had tried to kiss her and also asked her to sit on her lap.
Students from the institute said they are happy with the institute’s decision.