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April 27, 2018
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Will take stringent action, says V-CBut doesn’t rule out ‘conspiracy’

The Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) has constituted a five-member committee, which includes three female professors, to enquire into the controversy that erupted after a woman faculty member of an affiliated college was heard ‘luring’ four girl students into doing “certain things” in return for academic and financial benefits.

M. Lellis Thivagar, Syndicate member and chairperson of the School of Mathematics, will be the convenor of the committee.

S. Andiappan, Syndicate member and chairperson of the School of Religions, Philosophy and Humanist Thought; S. Rajashabala, Syndicate member and Associate Professor in School of Physics; P. Varalakshmi, Assistant Professor in the School of Biotechnology; and P. Jeyabharathy, Assistant Professor in the School of Youth Empowerment, are the other members.

Vice-Chancellor P.P. Chellathurai, who said he was presently in Delhi, told The Hindu that the committee would investigate all aspects of the issue.

“We will take stringent action if any MKU official is found to be involved. At the same time, we are not ruling out the possibility that the entire audiotape was recorded in an orchestrated manner so as to malign MKU’s reputation,” he said.

Meanwhile, university sources said that the Registrar of the MKU, V. Chinniah, left for Chennai on Monday, reportedly on being summoned by the Governor’s office through the Higher Education Department.

‘Panel disappointing’

The Joint Action Council of MKU (JAC-MKU), a coalition of two teaching and non-teaching staff associations, expressed disappointment over the constitution of the committee.

In an emergency meeting of its executive committee convened on Monday regarding the issue, the JAC-MKU said that it would be inappropriate for the internal committee, involving Syndicate members who were nominated to the Syndicate by the university, to investigate the issue when the audiotape indicated the involvement of senior officials of the MKU.

The JAC-MKU passed resolutions demanding the constitution of a committee by the Higher Education Secretary with members drawn from outside. It also sought transfer of the case to the CB-CID wing of the Tamil Nadu police.

The coalition has also called for a gate meeting at the university campus on Tuesday morning, which is expected to be attended by all members of the two associations, to decide on the future course of action.