#MeToo: Symbiosis law college suspends teacher over sexual harassment allegations

In a written complaint to the Union ministry of women & child development, one of the students had alleged that the professor ogled at her breasts and private parts.

Days after a group of students from Symbiosis Law College, Hyderabad accused an assistant professor of sexual harassment, the college confirmed that it has suspended Srinivas Methuku, the faculty member.

After receiving the complaint from a group of eight girls, the Institute constituted an internal complaints committee as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.

The principal director of Symbiosis International University, Vidya Yeravdekar, said that “The ICC interacted with the victims who claimed that they felt uncomfortable by his actions. As an interim action, we suspended the assistant professor on October 15, 2018.”

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Earlier, in written complaint to the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development, one of the students had alleged that the professor ogled at her breasts and private parts. The students had confirmed that a committee from the law school in Pune which visited the Hyderabad campus after their complaint had asked the two female students to give an undertaking that they will take back the complaint and pull down a social post that allegedly defames the institution and the professor.

However, on Friday, two students were evicted from their hostel with immediate effect. The students alleged that they were targeted after they ‘outed’ a professor and that the institution was indifferent when it came to handling sexual harassment accusations.

The institute, however, in its detailed response to the allegations levelled at them says that the disciplinary action they took was only on the basis of ‘continuous misconduct’. The institute claims that two students have misrepresented the facts in the sexual harassment case to divert attention. It alleged that the “whole #Metoo Campaign was orchestrated to divert the attention from the core issue of disciplinary misconduct by these two students and to derive the benefit of exemption from attendance shortage.”

Not long back, as a part of the ongoing #MeToo movement, students of the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC) had taken to Twitter and Facebook to share stories of alleged sexual harassment, intimidation and assault on campus.

Taking cognisance of the harrowing experiences the students had shared on social media, the SCMC had appealed to the students to come forward, promising them help.

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