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  • Utkal University Sexual harassment Case: Orissa Today petition Chancellor & CM for justice for Utkal University Professors

    To : The Chancellor , Orissa / Chief Minister Orissa

    CC:Chief Secretary of Orissa, Higher Education Secretary orissa

    Dear Sir,

    "Orissa Today Network"  members exposed the conspiracy behind the sexual harasssment case of Utkal University and we want the gulity must be punished and innocent professors, who are cleared of the harassment charges by an authorized commitee must be reinstated without any delay.

    The conspirators must be booked under Indian Penal Code for defaming the Professors in a pre-planned manner and becoming handy tools for another  Corrupt and disgraced Professor as named under.

    Also, the suggestions by Mr. Subhash Mahapatro must be implemented as guidelines for all male professors in order to avoid such things in future.


    Manoj Padhi

    Orissa Today Network



    The Emotional Campaign by Sneha Mishra, which is found baseless by some of our OTN members

    On 1/8/07, sneha mishra < sneha_mishra@sify.com > wrote:

    Dear All

    This is to draw your attention to the case of Sexual harassment of the  students
    and some women faculties in Utkal Unversity last year. The case was registered and
    chargesheeted as well. We came to know that the University authority are trying to
    reinstate the professors!! Don't you think it needs to be condemned? What is going
    to happen to the students and also the faculties who had complained. To  protest this
    we are doing a signature camapign and a memorandum is going to be submitted to The
    governor of Orissa by 15th of this month. This is an appeal to all of you who think
    to support the endeavour to sign for the protest through Agami Orissa and express
    solidarity to the students.


    Team WE CAN Orissa

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: sneha mishra <sneha_mishra@sify.com>
    Date: Jan 18, 2007 3:05 AM
    Subject: Re: [Ornet] Sexualharassment case of UtkalUniversity
    To: AnilAgarwal <anilk.agarwal@yahoo.com>
    Cc: mailto:ornet@cs.columbia.edu, sandip.kumar.dasverma@gmail.com

    Dear ALL

    I have been going through all the communications made
    regarding the issue. I would jut like to raise certain questions at this
    point. Can Mr. Anil Aggarwal answer this? Do you think giving complain
    on Sexual harassment for a woman is so easy? Specifically when they are
    students or even for that matter they had passed out? As study says one
    in every two girls face sexual harassment in their childhood. tell me
    how many of them reveals this? It is not so easy to talk in public that
    "I am sexually abused"? You seems to be so concerned for these
    professors that you also wanted to allege other professors/readers/faculties of other dept. for that matter. Now just
    imagine had these girls been your own daughter/sister(i don't know you
    personally not even your age). what step you would have taken. If you
    feel or you are sure that those people are not guilty law is defintely
    there it will take care of it. Do you happen to be these prof.
    advocates? In fact this is not an issue of today it has been happening
    since years. Not only in one dept. or in one university or college. we
    have been getting the complain as women groups but till date students
    could not dare to registered the complain legally which they did this
    time. Definitely these girls need all of us support to fight till the end.

    Thanks Bishakha and Sandeep for posting all your concerns.


    By Subhas Mahapatra, Personal experience, suggestions & Opinion

    This takes me back to nearly half a century of history. When I was a lecturer in Bhadrak College1961-64, it was the only private college with a girls hostel. Therefore, many girls from far off places came to Bhadrak College to reside there. The lecture hall where I was teaching was about 100ft. from this hostel. The girls used to sit in the front rows. Because many of these girls came from urban families, they would wear see-thru blouses and dresses, su much so that you can even see the outlines of bra through these blouses, especially the white ones. I was a young man and bachellor. I used to send these girls out from the class saying "you are distracting me. Either go to the last line or go change your dress and come back". Because many a girls would come to get their practical book corrected and signed, I had put a peon at the door to make sure not to allow single girls to my office. He was instructed only to allow groups of girls and only after getting my personal approval. I followed this practice also at SCS College at Puri in 1964-65, i.e., until I came to USA. In those days there were also accusations of sexual abuse/harrassment, but fortunately there was none against me. In fact the principals of both colleges used to advise the "accused" lecturers "follow Subhas Mohapatra's methods" and nothing will happen. How did I know? Because these lectureres would come to me and ask what methods I am using because the principal asked them to emulate that.

    Even at that time Psychology department was nototrious for such allegations. In fact, some of my colleagues have ended up marrying their own students in the Psychology department. Under such circumstances, it is hard to determine which is consensual and which is imposition. I know it because as secretary of staff coucil I had had to deal with such situations, for there was no sexual harrassment cell in those days.
    I was taken to Bhadrak College because two lectureres were caught while having sexual intercourse with students in the physics laboratory (extra classes to make up before exam).
    I am saying all these because, as I see them, there are three types of sexual  misconduct between teachers and students: blatant and inexcusable actions regardless of consent or not, consensual exchanges of romantic feelcings and actions, imposition against will and retaliation in case of non-cooperation. When it comes to workplace sesuxal harrassment, sexual misconduct can also go beyond the above three and take many other forms.
    In my view, sexual harrassment accusations call for thorough investigation, but not outright arrest or dismissal or suspension. The accused lecturer should, how ever, be barred from contact with female students outside the class room while the investigation is in progress. Because there are peons in each department, a peon should be placed in the class of the accused teacher so he can report to the authorities about the class room conduct of the teacher.
    I went to the above link but did not find any information except the names of the accused lecturers. It is therefore hard to determine what was the nature of the offence.

     Reported by Mr. Anil Agrawal
     Dear All,

      The pieces on women empowerment and actions to take on sexual harassment sounds commendable and deserves an applaud. 

    But dear Sandip/ Sneha being an idealist and a moralist is pretty good but do you know the facts or are you just jumping on a bandwagon which preaches about morality with a hidden agenda in picture. In which, your so called support is not towards making any positive contribution but adding fuel to a fire started by some vested interest groups. Would you feel pretty much encouraged by your so-called enthusiasm if you found out that the
    so-called guilty party are actually a bunch on innocent profs which definitely will be proved innocent in the recent future. But without giving the "so-called guilty profs" a chance to prove their innocence we are having a group extol the virtues of having a signature campaign, presenting the case before the governor and like. What are we talking here... anarchy of some sorts advocated by the so-called learned people in foreign countries who feel that law does not apply to them... and lets forcibly bludgeon our way in.

    This piece of write-up is to draw your attention to the Sexual harassment case of Utkal University. This much talked about case is nothing but just an outcome of the departmental rivalry among the faculties of the psychology department of Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.

    The students who had given complaints about the professors are the students who have passed 2-3 years back. The Vice Chancellor and other university authorities suspended them because of the students' pressure, pressure by the NGO's run by Pratap Kumar Rath and his relatives. The University has no proof about the case and still the innocent professors remain suspended till now. Is it a just way to give justice and not even when who is guilty is yet to be decided.

      The two faculties Mr. Pratap kumar Rath and Ms. Namita Das who have complained about the Professors are the Readers of the same department. Mr. Pratap Rath has a NGO in which he gives employment to the students who pass out of the psychology department ( a
    very noble deed indeed). He keeps them at hand to create all sorts of mischief and hooligan activities not only in the psychology dept. but also in the university premises (NOT a very noble deed indeed). With over 20 years of experience in the department, he is still a READER without any Ph.D students to his credit and without any research paper which ideally every faculty should possess in order to get promoted and be noticed. All the so called tainted profs have multiple PhD's to their name and a lot many students have passed under their guideship. Mr Pratap Rath however gets noticed by misutilising the department funds for which he himself has been suspended for 1 year sometime back, and instigating the students of  his own department to take false actions against the professors, who try to voice their opinions against his illegal activities. He has favoured the students by giving them good
    marks and referring them for higher courses in foreign universities for those who have stood by him and helped propagate his "JUST IDEALS" of minting money and getting his things done through.


      And Madame Namita Das is another "esteemed professor" who closely follows in the footsteps of her mentor Mr. Pratap Rath. She in her 20 years career does not even have a PhD to her credit so the least said the better about her mentoring skills. She does her best in avoiding coming to classes or in lay man's words, is very busy in avoiding the questions which will be asked by the students in her class. Hence the best recourse is to avoid the class altogether. Together Mr Rath and Ms Das make a tight fitting pair like hand fits the glove (that's what we call co-operation or nicely to put, you scratch my back I will scratch yours� the ways of the human psychology and what an irony we are talking about incidents in the psychology dept itself). Let the association live a long time till the Utkal Univerisy students are there and as long as they are stupid. Hmmm..Stupid may not be a right word for these great students as they continue to live and know the easy way to curry  favours with the so called
    teachers without an iota of effort to learn more and earn the degree with out their own hard work of using their heads but use their cacophonous voices and hands and stones and sticks.
     The favored students realising the benefits which comes with fulfilling the command of Mr. Pratap Rath have fully supported him in doing such nasty things in the department. Anyway Mr Pratap Rath is there to take care of them. He is too busy to take classes but seems to have a lot of time to mint money from the dept and also very actively run his NGO and doing
    gunda giri in the campus. Probably as per the definition of Mr Pratap Rath he feels NGO is nothing but "National Gundagiri Organization".

      During the tenure of headship of one of the professors, Mr.Rath and one of his senior colleague was found guilty of money scandal running into crores in the psychology department by an external commission called "Justice Dubey Commission" appointed by the Governor and he had to be suspended for that. Though it was advised in the commission that
    severe action/punishment be given to Mr.Rath but our esteemed Vice Chancellor of Utkal University did not have the balls to take action against Mr Pratap Rath because of the clout and student powers he commands. And certainly he has a lot of guts too for he has a pending
    case against him with the Minorities commission which came about when our Mr. Pratap Rath has definitely done a so called GREAT deed.  We should commend Mr Pratap Rath on mastering the art of leadership in doing everything which is despised in a civilised society (but who lives in a civilised society anyway.... think about it.)

    Anil Agarwal

    2/4/07, Anil Agarwal :

    Some latest updates about sexual harassment case in Utkal University.
    Facts :

    1. The sexual harassment cases was lodged by students who had passed out of UU two/ three years back during May 2006.
    2. The 3 "alleged profs" were jailed for 4 months.
    3. The allegations have not been proved by the sexual harassment cell of UU or the police or the Utkal University authorities.
    4. Justice is being denied to them by doing dharnas, pressure tactics, morchas by NGO's and influenced students.
    5. Profs are not being re-instated to get back to their work.
    6. Vice Chancellor of Utkal University Prof L. N. Mishra is pretty incapable to make any decision which seems like standard activities if we go by the policies.
    As per the rules of Utkal University,Vanivihar ,if the facts of the case don't have any merit and if not proved within 6 months then the persons should be reinstated.
    The VC is either too cowardly to make a decision for threat to his life or wants to gain credibility by associating with the "powerful" group or probably does not know the rules.
    Sadly for a state of Orissa or for the matter any part of India, in most cases,appointments to higher posts are not decided by Merit or capability but by who you know or how much you can pay for or mostly both. But the current VC of UU named L. N. Mishra (Lakshmi Narayan Mishra) sadly does not have a strong academic background but has a pretty powerful lobby with him which he  knows how to utilise. He has learnt that making tough decision makes your life tougher so when you on the verge of retirement why make it more tougher and displease the powerful lobby.
    If this is the example we have from a Vice Chancellor, then heck with the books and bookish knowledge and ideals like stand for what is right, speak the truth, dare to oppose injustice etc.
    Just imagine, when the power to suspend professors is there with a VC, and in this case without any investigation or facts and only because of student pressure, that the respected VC named Mr. L.N.Mishra is mentioning currently that he does not have the power to reinstate the professors. So what happened in this classic case, I have the power to pronounce you guility but I don't have the power to forgive you... Bull shit excuses... Though the UU Syndicate comprising of senior members do not have any objections and also given their approval to reinstate the profs over 3 times but for reasons better known
    to Mr. L.N. Mishra he is not doing that. Probably he is too good a buddy with Mr. Pratap Kumar Rath or very afraid of him to take any action for everybody in UU knows the clout Pratap Kumar Rath has in the university.
     Just to cite Mr. Pratap Kumar Rath had also scolded the wife of the former Governor of Orissa during a conference before a large public and for which a case is still pending  with the Minorities Commission. But nothing has happened to Mr Pratap Rath for the amount of clout he has in UU and he is the undisputed king over there. He is not short of money power too for he has a NGO, his wife also has a NGO and his relatives also have NGO's probably a NGO family... and hopefully their children will also have NGO's.....
    Ms. Sneha Mishra a very close relative of Mr. Pratap Rath is leading the pressure tactics with the "WE CAN" NGO and meeting with the VC of UU to further suppress the reinstatement process. The strategy being employed over here is that the Media will also be present during this discussion so the VC has to take a populist stand to impress the massess which basically would mean not reinstate the profs. And going by the clout of Pratap Kumar Rath and also the pressure from the "WE CAN" NGO lead by Sneha Mishra the state coordinator of the "WE CAN" NGO, the VC by the name of L.N. Mishra will not have any guts to decline their wishes. If he has to have a comfortable life in UU then he knows that he has to pamper the wishes of Pratap Kumar Rath though he
    knows what is correct and what is not. But for Prof. L.N. Mishra the VC of UU, personal life is very very important. God bless him. Though L.N.Mishra knows that no facts has been proved till now by the sexual harassment cell of UU or the police or the UU syndicate as such he is incapable to take any action. The course of action suggested by the VC is that, only the Governor can take a decision in the reinstatement of the profs. So the question would be, did the learned VC realise it just now or some God's revelation dawned on him??? Or May be he knew this thing all along and played with the trust shown by the "alleged" profs so he can make his "friend" Mr. Pratap Kumar Rath very happy. Just a point to note, the alleged profs over here had not resorted to any kind of indiscipine
    or violence till date for they had complete faith in the VC and the legal process. But seems they also have been wrong all along. Poor Souls...

    So may we ask the great L.N. Mishra if he knew he did not have the power to reinstate the professors then why was he mentioning that he will listen and do his best to reinstate them. Looks like a classic case of delaying the justice. The alleged profs have till date followed all the norms of the law and not resorted to any dharnas or gheraos but the VC does not have complaints against the agitations or gheraos which are committed in UU by Pratap Rath. Probably he is very democratic in a skewed way to Prof. Pratap Rath and his associates only.
    Will let you know if I get further info from UU. Thanks for reading.
    Anil Agarwal

    By Manoj Padhi

    Dear all:
    The Motto of the Utkal University is as in their home page
    "Satyam Param Dheemahi"  means "Seek the Highest Truth".
    Now if this case is really motivated and charges against alleged profs are dismissed by the sexual harassment cell - they should be reinstated immediately.
    Dear Anil:
    We look every issue as a problem & solution point of view. Now in order to write our letters to responsible persons in the University & in the Government, we might need an actual statements from the alleged professors. There is no  reason to believe you but since a signature campaign as been started by Ms. Sneha Mishra, it will be appropriate if we get some kind of statement from the alleged professors themselves.
    If I get such statement then I will personally talk to the VC and then apprise the state & national media about this conspiracy. The truth must win.
    Members: Any other ideas welcome..

    By Anil Agarwal

    Dear Manoj,
    The Phrase "Satyam Param Dheemahi"  means "Seek the Highest Truth",
    sadly has been forgotten by the authorities of
    Utkal University.
    Thanks for your neutral opinion and your help in trying to bring justice to the “alleged professors”.
    First of all, The great Vice-Chancellor of UU, Prof. L.N.Mishra, without doing any sort of preliminary investigation or enquiry suspended the profs.because of student pressure,gheraoes by NGO's etc.
    As per the rules of Utkal University,Vanivihar ,if the facts of the case don't have any merit and if not proved within 6 months then the persons should be immediately reinstated.
    All the members of the Utkal University Syndicate have given their approval for Re-instating the Profs. But the incapable and coward VC of UU is afraid of going ahead and re-instate them as he is getting threat from Mr.Pratap Kumar Rath,the students who have given false complaints and his relatives,Sneha Mishra of WE CAN, Orissa.So,the great VC doesn't want to displease Mr.Pratap Rath by re-instating the Profs.
    As told earlier,the Reader of Psychology department,Pratap Kumar Rath,was suspended for over a year and he has been found guilty under Panda Commission,Justice Dubey Commission and the Minorities Commission.The UU Syndicate has given the directions to take strong action against him to the VC but the VC ,Prof.L.N.Mishra has kept the file under wraps and is afraid of taking any action against him. Within 2 months of joining his duty ,the VC re-instated Mr.Pratap Rath.
    During my interaction with the students of Psychology department,i found out that Mr.Pratap Kumar Rath,is really a bad character person who is responsible for all the disturbances not only in his department but also in the university campus.He has taken the charge of examination in his department to keep some students in his clutch and do all sorts of nefarious activities.So,the students are not coming forward to give any statements against him.
    The Vice-Chancellor,L.N.Mishra is mentally and economically torturing the “alleged Profs.” and their family by not re-instating them and disobeying the orders of the UU syndicate.
    So, taking into account the above facts, the intentions of the VC don’t seem to be noble over here.
    Anil Agarwal

    By SATYAJIT Mishra

    dear Mr Agrawal,
    so far nothing is remained anyone's personal fiefdom. its also applicable to Pratap kumar rath. he has not directly descended from the moon. But what i guess ifrom ur letter is a vicious entangle created by that man which includes NGOs also. One day this NGO culture and the NGOs in particular will make this country hollow. it was meant to weaken indian society in the post collonial era. so mr rath is using the guiding principle of NGO in UU. i HAVE A SMALL REQUEST. IF U HAVE THE PROOF AND REAL GUTS, COME OUT OPENLY. FIGHT LIKE A WARRIOR. NO MATTER U WIN OR PERISH. WISH U BEST OF LUCK

    By Braahman

    Just imagine life of these innocent professors.How badly this fasle allegations of sexual harassment would have affected their family life?
    What would their wifes and children think about them after these allegations?The students who have falsely accused for the innocent professors of sexual-harassment should be arrested immediately.The old days are gone.Woman are no longer frail and tender.Women have been empowered more than needed.Recently,Aaj Tak showed two college girls climbing the gates of the principal of a college and vandalising his vehicle and beak his flower pots with unwomanly fury and ferocity.We need not take the side of the fairer sex any more.

    On 2/12/07, ASHOK RATH  wrote:

    Dear Mr. Agarwal,
                     Thank you for your E-mail. After priliminary investigation I feel your observation is correct. The entire episode seems to blackmail and harash the professor. We may write to the vice-chanceller and chanceller about this and request them that innocent professors should not be humiliated. They may immediately conduct an impartial inquary to ensure justice.
    Ashok Rath   

    • Comments By Anil Kumar Agarwal Country:INDIA State:Orissa
      Dear Sir/Madam, I would request your attention to a great injustice happening right now in one of the prestigious Universities of India, namely Utkal University. I would like to bring to your notice the alleged Sexual Harassment Case in Utkal University. The case has been in the news for around 9 months. During these 9 months the three "alleged Professors" have been in suspended status and are not being allowed to resume their duties even though all the investigations have not revealed anything against them.

    The following is a quick synopsis of the case:

    1. The case of sexual harassment is because of inter-departmental rivalry in the Psychology Department of Utkal University.

    2. The girl students who have filed the false charges are the ex-students of Psychology Dept and have passed out nearly 3 years back.

    3. The Sexual Harassment Cell of Utkal University had registered the complaints of the girls without properly verifying their credentials.

    4. The Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Utkal University, without conducting any preliminary investigation or without taking into account the report from Sexual Harassment Cell, had directed the Police to arrest the Professors.

    5. All these hasty actions and/or non-compliance of correct processes as per the rules and regulations guidelines of Utkal University, were undertaken due to the pressure from Student Groups, the NGO's (namely, “WE CAN” and “The Open Learning Systems”) etc. The Student groups were motivated by Mr. Pratap Kumar Rath and Ms.Namita Das as they have close association with some of the student leaders. Moreover, the two NGOs named above are owned by him and his affiliates/friends.

    6. As per the rules of Utkal University, if the facts of the case does not have any merit and if not proved within 6 months, then the suspended persons should be re-instated immediately. But this sort of rule has not been applied over here.

    7. The Utkal University Syndicate panel comprising of senior academicians has given the decision to re-instate the professors immediately since no allegations have been proved till date but the VC is ignoring the decision of the Syndicate and not allowing the Professors to be re-instated. This gives an indication that the VC is incompetent because he doesn’t know the rules and regulations of Utkal University and/or biased against the three alleged professors. It's our earnest request to you to look into the facts of the matter and direct the VC to re-instate the Professors back to their positions with dignity without any further delay.

    Sincerely, Anil Agarwal
    Post Date2/13/2007 6:51:25 PM

    • Comments By Sunil Dash Country:USA State:Texas
      Dear Members:

    I came to know about this group just yesterday. I and my friends who have passed out from Utkal University were really shocked to know about the news of the sexual scandal of Psychology Dept. in May 2006. We know the Professors pretty well. They are great scholars and very noble persons and all this case is just baseless. I agree with the persons who have put their support for the Professors of Utkal University that they should join their duties as soon as possible as the Syndicate has okayed to re-instate them and no proof has been found against them. All members pls. come forward to support these innocent persons and help punish the culprits who are making false propaganda.

    Cheers! Sunil

    P.S.-- I am very much thankful to Mr. Anil Agarwal to bring the truth behind this case.
    Post Date2/13/2007 8:41:33 PM

    Contact Details:Orissa Today Network

    Post Date:2/13/2007 10:29:05 PM Validity:1825 Days
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