Kasaragod: The external member of Central University of Kerala's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), inquiring into sexual harassment charges against Assistant Professor Efthikar Ahamed B, has stepped down over his statements to media maligning her.
The lone external member, a female lawyer, has been on the 10-member complaints committee for the past year and a half.
Efthikar Ahamed -- accused of molesting a first-semester MA English student who fainted in class and turning poetry classes into lewd sessions -- told Onmanorama that the female lawyer made light of the students' complaint during an ICC hearing.
On November 24, in an 18-minute-long conversation with Onmanorama, Efthikar Ahamed said: "There is a female lawyer in the ICC. She told me, 'Sir, you are lucky. The places where the student said you touched do not have any sexual organs'."
When contacted, the lawyer said she submitted her resignation from the university's Internal Complaints Committee on Tuesday, November 26. "I resigned because some media attributed a statement to me which I did not say. I have evidence that I did not say it," she said.
When asked if Efthikar Ahamed lied to eject her from the Internal Complaints Committee, she said that only the accused faculty member could answer.
When Onmanorama contacted Efthikar Ahamed on Friday, December 1, he denied making the controversial statement. The recording of the phone conversation is with this reporter.
Efthikar Ahamed posted his statement to the ICC on social media and alumni WhatsApp groups of his class. He also mailed screenshots of his WhatsApp conversations with his male students to the media to make a case that he was a victim of a conspiracy by a section of female students.
Meanwhile, the parents of four female students, who accused Efthikar Ahamed of sexual harassment, met and submitted a complaint to Kasaragod Collector Inbasekar Kalimuthu, seeking action against the accused faculty member of the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
The collector has forwarded the complaint to the university's Registrar, Dr M. Muralidharan Nambiar, seeking a report.
The alleged incident of Efthikar Ahamed inappropriately touching a female student, who fainted in class, happened on November 13. The female medical officer of the university's health centre backed the student saying she was an eyewitness.
The students filed a seven-page 31-point complaint to the Head of the Department Dr Asha S and the Presiding Officer of the ICC, Prof Germina K A on November 14.
On November 28, a day after the female lawyer resigned from the ICC, Vice Chancellor in-charge Prof K C Baiju suspended Efthikar Ahamed from service, pending inquiry, based on the interim report of the Internal Complaints Committee.