__________Body formed to probe into allegations
By K A Mian
LAHORE: The University of Okara has formed a fact-finding committee to probe into allegations of sexual harassment leveled by a female associate professor against three male professors of the varsity.
Sources told The Business that a 13-member committee consisting of four associate professors, seven assistant professors and two lectures will examine the harassment charges leveled by a female associate professor. The committee has been directed to submit its report within four working days positively.
According to the written complaint in which complainant in her written grievances said that she has been facing a lot of mental stress, abusive language, insulting comments and inappropriate attitude for the last two months besides the use of derogatory languages and the gesture from three male’s faculty (S), (F) and (K). The insulting remarks and bullying behaviour in many meetings and various places at the universities were intolerable and a source of depression for her, it revealed.
“I am the most senior faculty member and have dedicated to the university but after receiving bad treatment from the three male professors, it is not possible for me to perform well,” the complaint read.
It was also stated that the complainant has been harassed at many occasions and faced abusive language and even the male professors shouted over her on many occasions in meetings.
Among the three professors, one of them Mr (S) has been harassing the complainant for over two months. The complainant alleged that during the period of time, she had to face insulting comments, harsh language and above all bad attitude almost in every meeting Mr (S) hit her chair and asked her to go back seats in front of everyone. The most of the time in university a five people group, used derogatory language, whenever she passed through them, it revealed.
It was said that that the group of the people have been insulting way her. Male faculty member (S) used threatened the complainant saying “Esi khul k sisat krea ga ehty kam karna mushkil ho jaye ga and while Mr (F) said, “Tenu aina zalil kara gay ke tu university na aa sakiin…..”.
Even more insulting and threatening words were used which cannot be illustrated, the compliant mentioned. “If the committee finds any facts in the sexual harassment allegations then the matter will be passed to the ‘University’s Action Committee of Harassment at the Workplace’ against the harassment on for further probe,” sources said.
Both the parties would be questioned in this matter and other faculty members in the education, department are likely to be quizzed.
Sources in the varsity privy to the development in the inquiry told this reporter that in this deteriorating atmosphere of the varsity, it is not easy to work.
“Being a weak segment of society women cannot face such ‘mafia’ other than quitting such job for securing herself and future at any other places instead of ‘wrest’ option,” the sources said.
When this scribe contacted VC University of Okara Dr Zakria Zaker to get his version about the harassment case, “he said that no one can report this issue according to the Harassment Law, until the inquiry doesn’t complete, unless you cannot report this news, if you would report that we will take you to the Court of Law. He mentioned that it is mater of respect of teachers and reputation of the university if you report the incident we will take to you to the court of law,”.
Published in The Business, June 27th, 2020