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Hazara University rocked by sex scandal again

Written By Ali Awan on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 | 03:07

University rocked by sex scandal again
Sex Scandal in Hazara University Mansehra
ISLAMABAD, March 27: All public and private organisations in the country are required to implement the Sexual Harassment Act but a female university teacher could pick up the courage of reporting her case only after reaching the safety of a foreign land.

Higher Education Commission’s Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi confirmed to Dawn that a female faculty member of the Hazara University, currently doing PhD in the United Kingdom, has filed an application with the HEC that she suffered sexual harassment at the university.

“It is a very serious issue. We will take action if the university fails to investigate and act on its own in a given time,” he said.

Initial investigation has shown the charge was correct, according to an HEC official.

“There is a cult in the university and some top officers in its management, deans and female faculty members are involved in the racket,” he said requesting anonymity.

However, the university management, instead of explaining its position, has sought explanation from the complainant for “violating the procedure” by taking her complaint directly to the HEC.

In her application to the HEC, the complainant explained that she had no chance of being heard by the university as a powerful coterie there blocked and dumped such complaints.

She said she was “one of the many victims” of sexual harassment in the Hazara University, which is situated about 20 kilometres from Mansehra.

She got the chance when she arrived in UK on a scholarship and decided to write to the HEC to save other students and faculty members, she said.

Vice-Chancellor Hazara University, Dr Syed Sakhawat Shah was not aware of the incident.

When Dawn pointed him the explanation sought by his university from the complainant, he said it would have been done “in routine” and without his knowledge.

However he promised to look into it.

“After getting her application we decided to countercheck as there could be personal vendetta behind it,” said an HEC official.

“In probing the case, we contacted other female faculty members who confirmed the allegation of the complainant. They said some university officers and faculty members collaborated in the dirty affair,” he added.

Subsequently, the HEC asked the university management investigate the matter itself and report back within six weeks. But the management went seeking an explanation from the ‘victim’ for approaching HEC over its head.

A similar incident had rocked the university’s Haripur campus in 2010 and the accused lecturer was dismissed because of hue and cry in the media.

Meanwhile, the HEC sought help from Dr Fouzia Saeed, who has been working against sexual harassment and has formed a network called AASHA for the purpose. She investigated a similar case in which a top rank officer of the Punjab University was
dismissed.

Content from, http://dawn.com/2012/03/28/university-rocked-by-sex-scandal-again-2/

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