QAU Islamabad Sex Harassment Case – Forced retirement of examination controller urged

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QAU Islamabad Sex Harassment Case – Forced retirement of examination controller urged
Islamabad (Saturday, July 23, 2011) – committee, which was constituted to probe into the case of alleged molestation of a student of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), has recommended forced retirement of the controller examination.
According to sources, the findings of the report have proven the controller examination guilty and strongly recommended to the university authorities to immediately send him on forced retirement. The inquiry committee comprised QAU National Institute of Psychology Director Dr. Anila Kamal, Chemistry Department Chairman Dr. Saqib Ali, Professor Dr. Wasim of the Biochemistry Department and Campus Manager Colonel (r) Nadeem Gill.
Sources said that the committee would present its report and recommendations in the meeting of the syndicate to be held today (Saturday). The members of the syndicate include faculty members, representatives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and representatives of the parliament.
The case of alleged molestation of a female student of the QAU was reported last month after which QAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai immediately constituted a committee to probe into the issue. The committee, after a one month investigation, compiled its findings, according to which, the controller examination was found guilty. During investigation, the committee recorded statements of the victim, the alleged culprit and also those working closely with them.
An official told this scribe that the VC has asked the committee to present its report in the presence of syndicate members in order to avoid any controversy. People could doubt the authenticity of the report and recommendations so the VC has asked the committee to reveal the findings of the report in the meeting of the syndicate, he said.
Earlier, the controller examination was sent on forced leave on the recommendation of the committee. The committee believed that the presence of the controller examination on the campus could cause a controversy.
This was the first case of its nature in which the complaint of the victim has been addressed so quickly. Previously, such cases were hushed up, whether it occurred on the premises of an office or an academic institution.
It is for the first time after the passage of law against sexual harassment that a committee has been constituted within three days of the incident and the report would be made public within thirty days of the incident.
QAU Gender Studies Department Head Farzana Bari said that they were hoping that a fair decision would come out in the meeting. “It is in the interest of the university to take action in order to check such cases in future,” he said.
Earlier, she said that the culprit was exerting pressure on the victim and her family to take the case back. She believed that only speedy inquiry into such cases could ensure the prevention of such cases in future.
Sources said that the issue related to the alleged harassment of another girl by her teacher would also be discussed in the meeting. “Though the meeting has one point agenda, the other issue regarding the alleged harassment of another student will also be discussed in the meeting,” sources said.
This scribe tried to contact the relevant officials of the university for comments but they were not available. An inquiry committee member, Dr. Anila Kamal, refused to make any comment regarding the report and said that the report would be made public within two days.

(Published in “TheNews”)

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