Bekal police charge-sheet says Central University's Efthikar Ahamed sexually harassed student

Assistant Prof Efthikar Ahamed B (left) and Central University of Kerala (right). Photo: Facebook and File Image

Kasaragod: Bekal police have formally charged Central University of Kerala's assistant professor Efthikar Ahamed B with outraging the modesty of a female student and submitted the charge sheet to a court in Kanhangad.

Investigating officer and Bekal Station House Officer - Inspector Vipin U P said Efthikar Ahamed has been charged with Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. The charge sheet has been submitted to the Judicial First Class Magistrate's Court in Hosdurg. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of five years and/or a fine.

According to the complaint filed by a student, the faculty member of the Department of English and Comparative Literature inappropriately touched her shoulders and chest when she fainted in class while writing an exam on November 13.

Thirty-four students of her class also accused him of giving lewd lectures under the garb of poetry lessons.

On November 23, the university suspended him but the complaint was not forwarded to police. Later, the parents of four students petitioned the District Collector who sought an explanation from the university Registrar.

Only after the Collector's intervention, the university informed the Bekal Police of the incident on November 13.

The police booked Efthikar Ahamed with Section 354 of IPC, making unwelcome physical contact and advances and explicit sexual overtures (Section 354A(1)(i) of IPC) and using word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of the student (Section 509 of IPC).

Post investigation, police charged him only with outraging the modesty of a woman. The university's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) ran a three-month inquiry and came up with an indecisive conclusion. It took refuge in the minor differences in the student's written complaint and her oral statement during the hearing and wrote that they "were not matching completely. Therefore, ICC is not in a position to make a conclusion on this particular incident".

In the other complaint of Efthikar Ahamed delivering lectures with sexual innuendos, the ICC did not give him a clean chit but advised him "to refrain from such annotations and connotations which are not necessarily warranted".

Based on the ICC's recommendations, the university's Vice Chancellor in charge Prof Baiju K C revoked his suspension on February 23, violating his bail condition set by the High Court that he should not enter Hosdurg taluk.

The decision triggered widespread student protests on the campus.

Six days later, on February 29, the Vice Chancellor suspended Efthikar Ahamed again saying the teacher did not inform the university of the bail condition.

To be sure, it is the responsibility of the university's standing counsel to inform the university of the court's decisions.

Meanwhile, another student has filed a complaint against Efthikar Ahamed taking offence to his Facebook post disparaging her for speaking to the media about his alleged crimes. Bekal police have not yet registered an FIR in the complaint.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.