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April 27, 2018
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Day after audio leak, college teacher detained for ‘luring’ girl studentsPolice pick up assistant professor after 5-hour wait outside her residence; varsity constitutes panel

Amidst high drama, the Aruppukottai Town Police picked up assistant professor Nirmala Devi of Devanga College here on Monday evening on the charge of attempting to traffic four girl students of the institution.

“She has been picked up for an enquiry. She could be arrested after the enquiry,” Superintendent of Police (Virudhunagar) M. Rajarajan said.

Earlier in the day when police officials turned up at her house for interrogating her in connection with a complaint lodged against her for allegedly “luring” four college girls for an ‘undisclosed’ assignment to help officials of the Madurai Kamaraj University, Ms. Devi locked herself up inside her house. She did not respond when the police knocked on the doors.

The police, along with a strong posse of media personnel, waited for more than five hours as she had reportedly switched off her mobile phone. The police initially said that they would break open the door in the presence of revenue officials and her relatives. But, after darkness set in, she came out and the police whisked her away in a vehicle.

Police complaint

Earlier, on a complaint lodged by the college secretary R. Ramasamy against Ms. Devi, who had been placed under suspension (she is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics), the police had booked her under Sections 370 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code and under the provisions of the Information Technology Act for the conversation she had using the mobile phone.

The complainant also handed over petitions given by the four girls to the college principal last month. The final-year students had accused Ms. Devi of promising them good marks in their semester examination, academic progress and also money in return for undertaking some “urgent assignment” assigned to her by “the higher officials of the MKU”.

Pressure from students

After the audio clip of the conversation between Ms. Devi and her students went viral on social media, the college authorities on Sunday clarified that Ms. Devi was placed under suspension on March 21 based on their enquiry into the students’ complaint.

The college authorities who were hesitant to lodge a police complaint on Sunday came under pressure on Monday after students and members of various organisations staged a protest in front of the institution seeking police enquiry into the “ugly episode” and the arrest of Ms. Devi and MKU officials involved in it.