Kasaragod: Around 100 members of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), the women's wing of the CPM, took out a protest march to the Central University of Kerala campus from Periya demanding stringent action against the English teacher accused of molesting a student.
The women marched from Periya town to the campus -- a distance of 1km -- but the police stopped them at the entrance.
According to a complaint, a first-semester English MA student fainted in class while writing an internal examination on November 13. The invigilator called in Efthikar Ahamed, an Assistant Professor, who splashed water on the student's face and touched her face. The student in her complaint to the university's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) said his touch in the classroom, in the car, and at the university's health centre was not appropriate.
On November 28, the university suspended Dr Efthikar Ahamed B from service, pending inquiry, based on the interim report of the ICC.
Inaugurating the protest in front of the gate AIDWA state treasurer E Padmavathy said the complaint against Efthikar was serious and should not be confined to the campus proceedings. A female lawyer (external member) on the Internal Complaints Committee has resigned reportedly over the teacher's malicious statement against her, she said. "The university should immediately fill the post and ICC should complete the hearing. There should be progress in the inquiry. Suspension is not a punishment," she said.
Padmavathy, a former district panchayat president, also criticised the university for serving a show-cause notice on the female medical officer, who is an eyewitness to the alleged crime, for reportedly speaking to the media on the case. "The accused teacher frequently airs his views on the case in the media but the university did not initiate any action against him," she said.
The protest was led by AIDWA's District President P C Zubaida and District Secretary M Sumathi.