IRMA director sent on leave over abuse charges

IRMA director sent on leave over abuse charges

The director of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) has been sent on forced leave following a complaint of sexual harassment filed against him by a senior staff member.

The decision to send R C Natarajan on leave was taken at a special meeting of the IRMA board. The board appointed Dr Rakesh Saxena as in-charge director for 100 days or till the receipt of an inquiry report by the district’s local complaint committee before which the complainant filed a criminal case.

A senior staff member of the institute had filed a police case against Natarajan for what she called passing indecent comments and hugging her without consent, thereby harassing her sexually. This was followed by a letter by group of faculty members to IRMA board, alleging intimidation of witness by director and anonymous callers.

“Over the past few weeks, the incumbent director has in many ways tried to coerce and intimidate individual faculty and witnesses putting them under tremendous stress and pressure, issues concerning the safety and protection of the complainant have been raised,” the letter stated.

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