Kochi: A syndicate meeting of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) held here on Friday decided to suspend three faculty members, including the head of marine geology and geophysics, after an internal committee probe found them ‘guilty’ of mental harassment of a girl student who had earlier raised a ragging complaint. They are Dr K. Sajan, professor and head, marine geology and geophysics, Dr P. Ajayakumar, assistant professor, and Dr N.R. Nisha, assistant professor. The meet also decided to constitute another inquiry by a woman judicial officer into the matter.
Earlier, a three-member internal inquiry committee headed by Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr K. Poulose Jacob and Dr R. Poornima Narayan and Dr A.N. Balchand as its members had found the complaint filed by the third-year student of marine geology and geophysics true. “The decision to place them under suspension was unanimous. Dr Rosamma Philip will head the department of marine geology and geophysics on a temporary basis,” sources said. Earlier, the student hailing from a Delhi-based Malayali family, had submitted before the probe committee the audio clippings of the harassment she faced.
She claimed that the faculty members were upset with her for lodging a ragging complaint. “The student recently submitted an abstract work to the Bombay IIT during an inter-university event. This was based on her research during the internship held at the Goa-based National Centre for Artic Research Centre. She had given the name of her professors as referral. However, she was forced to withdraw her work and issued a memo for attending the event,” sources said. According to them, the student was also asked to take three examinations on a single day, appear for examination on Saturday and often the faculty members refused to take classes for her. However, the trio could not be contacted for comments.