Varsity prof suspended for sexual misconduct

Police yet to register a case as no complaint has been filed

An economics professor of the School of Distance Education, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, was suspended on allegations of sexual misconduct on campus and a probe ordered into the charges by a four-member team headed by Justice Rangaraju.

J Ramu Naidu, 57, was exposed by a Telugu channel while seeking sexual favours from a young woman who claimed that she had come to collect pass certificates. She alleged the professor assured her pass certificate and the degree without appearing for the examinations in exchange for sex.

However, she later tipped off the TV channel as she turned restless when the professor failed to fulfil his promise but continued to exploit her.

As the footage became viral, several women and student organisations staged protests and demanded his immediate suspension. Andhra University Registrar  V Umamaheswara Rao said the university had decided to suspend the professor with immediate effect and his fate would be decided after thorough investigations. A retired high court judge will head the four-member committee which will submit its findings within three months.

However, police said they had not booked a case since the university had to proceed as per UGC guidelines. Town police station SHO Lakshman Murthy said: “We have not received a formal complain from either the authorities or the victim.”

Sources close to the professor allege that a realtor in Visakhapatnam was behind the incident and said the woman in question was not a student of the university. They said Ramu Naidu will come out unscathed from the investigations.

“The sting operation was conducted by the realtor and later handed over to the channel. I was lured by the woman who administered some kind of a sedative in the form of a drink,” the professor told his close friends.

However, a few members of the faculty discount the realtor angle. “This is not the first time that he has committed such an act. According to the woman, she was being harassed for quite some time and the professor had been asking for such favours in exchange for her pass certificates,” a professor of Arts College pointed out.

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