Nitin Yeshwantrao,TNN | Apr 29, 2014, 12.17 AM IST
The medical students pursuing their internship recently alleged that the professor had “inappropriately” touched them in the guise of showing them diagnostic procedures. The female interns were allegedly asked to demonstrate a breast self-examination before the entire class and he would touch their private parts while assuring them that it was part of medical diagnosis and that they should not take it otherwise.
“The pervert behavior of the professor was an open secret but the interns dare not speak up fearing that he would sabotage their career. However, a few girls decided to speak up and sent a mail to the dean and the police commissioner on this issue,” a student told TOI. Other faculty members too said that they had heard about the “misdeeds” of the professor but as no one dared to complain, the issue was brushed under the carpet.
An internal panel under Dr Vandana Kumawat has been set up to probe the charges against him. A show-cause notice has reportedly been slapped on him. A Thane police team is also probing the allegations against the professor, who is said to be on leave. They could slap criminal charges on him upon receiving a complaint.
A police team visited the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College of the civicrun Kalwa hospital on Monday, and spoke to the dean and members of the college’s sexual harassment committee, regarding an email complaint by over a dozen female students accusing a senior professor of sexual harassment.
The complaint, which was emailed to the dean, Dr Choity Maitra, and Thane Police Commissioner Vijay Kamble a week ago, said the professor would order female students to “demonstrate breast self-examination in front of the entire class, including male students”, and that during practicals he would slip his hands inside female patients’ shirts while claiming to explain technicalities of dealing with chest ailments.
On Monday, 20 more students also complained against the professor to the sexual harassment committee, and 10 college staffers gave a written complainant. “We spoke to college staffers and are awaiting an official complainant, after which action will be initiated against the accused,” said a Kalwa police officer.
Dr Maitra said: “We told the police our sexual harassment committee is probing the matter and we will share the report with them. We also received more complaints against the professor.”