Only a year after a professor of the social sciences department was terminated for harassing girl students, similar reports have surfaced at the Garden Campus of Hazara University.
A group of girl students of the university’s art and design department have accused the Head of Department (HOD) and a visiting faculty member of harassment.
In a complaint issued to the media and also lodged with the university’s registrar, the students have accused the two teachers of using abusive language and indecent behaviour in class.
The students have sought the two officials’ termination. They
have warned that if the teachers are not terminated, they will boycott exams scheduled for Monday and classes for Friday.
“[These teachers] cross all limits by writing reprehensible language on the blackboard,” said one student, requesting anonymity. “We even have evidence of the HOD trying to pull at the shawls and gowns of some students,” she said.
She also accused the two teachers of trying to blackmail students by changing their exam scores to keep mum on the issue.
A number of students said that because of the teachers’ “unacceptable behaviour”, a lot of girl students have been discouraged from attending classes.
“The class strength has dwindled from 26 to only 12,” said another girl student, who also requested to remain anonymous. “Some students are also mulling over quitting studies due to the same reason,” she added.
According to official records, the department has only three male students.
One of the accused, HOD Durrani, denied the reports in his rejoinder. He termed the allegations baseless and aimed at tarnishing his reputation. He said he had submitted his 120-page report to the inquiry committee.
However, Vice Chancellor Sakhawat Shah has ordered a probe into the matter.
When approached for comments, the VC confirmed that some students had lodged a complaint against the HOD and another visiting faculty member.
He said that a five-member inquiry committee, headed by the Head of Journalism Department Prof. Syed Shokat Shah, has been formed to take up the case. Shah assured that stern action will be taken against the teachers if the allegations are proved to be true.
On the other hand, all the student bodies and the women wing of Tehrik-e-Insaf have pledged their support to the protesting students and announced to join the protest on Friday.
Moreover, they announced to set up a protest camp in the university on Monday, if the two officials were not terminated from their services.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2012.
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