Tamil Nadu refers professor's audio tape case to CB-CID

Nirmala Devi. Image Courtesy: Twitter

The Tamil Nadu Police on Tuesday transferred to the CB-CID the case of a woman professor of an autonomous college in Tamil Nadu for luring four girl students to “compromise on their morality” to “give sexual favours to a top official”.

As demands grew for an "impartial" CBI probe into the issue since the professor is heard dropping hints about her connections in the governor's office, Director General of Police (DGP) T K Rajendran transferred the complaint to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) citing the "importance of the case."

Nirmala Devi, associate professor with Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), has been booked under Sections 370 (trafficking of persons), 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC and 67(A) (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act) of the IT Act.

Immediately after her arrest on Monday, Governor Banwarilal Purohit, in his capacity as Chancellor of MKU, announced setting up of a high-powered enquiry committee headed by former bureaucrat R Santhanam to go into “certain immoral happenings” in the college without any prejudice so that the guilty “don't escape without punishment.”

The announcement by the DGP came hours after Purohit met MKU vice-chancellor P P Chellathurai and asked him to withdraw the order constituting a separate inquiry by the varsity.

As the DMK and the CPM demanded an explanation from the governor, Purohit is expected to meet the press at 6 pm and clarify his stand on the issue.

Opposition parties quickly lapped up the issue to target the government and demanded a court-monitored probe by the CBI. The political leaders also wanted to know who was the “top official” and asked the government to ensure that his identity is disclosed and he is also brought to justice.

In the audio clip that went viral, Nirmala is heard asking the students to “grab the opportunity to do certain things secretly for a top official”.

Though the students are heard expressing their “disinterest” in the proposal, the professor looked unperturbed and continues to convince them by flaunting her connections.

Though Nirmala was suspended from her post in the third week of March, after the students filed a complaint with the college administration, there was no forward movement on the complaint till the audio clip was shared on social media on Sunday.

The incident has come as yet another blot on the higher educational institutes in Tamil Nadu, which are already under a thick cloud of corruption with two former vice-chancellors of reputed universities being booked on graft charges.

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