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#India – IIT-Guwahati professor suspended for sending vulgar text messages to student #sexualharassment #Vaw

TNN Aug 31, 2013, 03.54AM IST

GUWAHATI: A professor of IIT-Guwahati (IIT-G) has been suspended by the institute’s authorities for harassing a girl student by sending ‘vulgartext messages to her cellphone.

On Thursday, IIT-G authorities issued a suspension order against Lingaraj Sahoo, a professor in the biotechnology department, after continuous protests on the campus by students of the institute since Wednesday.

Labanu Konwar, a spokesman of IIT-G, on Friday said the authorities issued the suspension order of Sahoo after the Working Women Committee (WWC) of IIT sought disciplinary action against him. “In July end, the victim girl, along with her father, lodged a complaint against Sahoo at the office of IIT-G director Gautam Barua. Soon after receiving the complaint, the matter was referred to the WWC of IIT, which sought disciplinary action against Sahoo this month,” said Konwar.

Based on the FIR lodged against Sahoo by students at Amingaon police outpost on August 2, the professor was arrested by police, though he is on bail now. A police officer said within the next two days, police will file the chargesheet against Sahoo.

The girl student was a research scholar doing PhD under Sahoo when the complaint was lodged. But later, her research guide was changed. “It is confirmed that Sahoo sent a love proposal to his through text messages from his mobile,” a senior police officer said.

Sahoo was booked under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC and section 66 A of Information Technology Act.

The police officer said initially during interrogation, Sahoo told police that he lost the SIM card from where the student said were sent. But according to police, when the objectionable text messages were sent to the student, that particular SIM card was with Sahoo only.

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