Bishop Heber college students allege sexual harassment by Prof Paul

Bishop Heber college students allege sexual harassment by Prof Paul

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Female students of Bishop Heber College in Tiruchirappalli have filed a complaint of sexual misconduct against Paul Chandramohan, the head of the Tamil department, reports Swarajya.

According to the reports, five postgraduate students of Bishop Heber College, Trichy, submitted a five-page complaint with the college’s principal, accusing Head of Department Paul Chandramohan of sexually harassing them in the past.

The Bishop Heber College, Trichy is established and managed by the Tiruchirappalli – Thanjavur Diocese of the Church of South India. 

In a written letter to the college principal, five post-graduate students said Paul Chandramohan sexually harassed them regularly by sitting in close proximity and cracking sexual jokes.

“During class hours, he sits extremely close to the girls and uses vulgar language and double meaning sexual innuendos, making the students despise him. He loosens the shirt and pants towards the end, making the students uncomfortable,” the letter reads.

The victim students also alleged that Paul Chandramohan engaged in various forms of sexual harassment, such as rubbing his legs against them. He even went on to say that he would ‘teach’ them about the kind of experience that lovers would have in an intimate setting in parks and such, the letter said.

The students also alleged that Paul Chandramohan would force them to visit his private chamber inside the college premise.

Assistant Professor Nalini often forced victims to wash face, wear make-up before meeting Paul Chandramohan

According to the aggrieved students, Nalini, an assistant professor in the Tamil department, often forced them to wash their faces and apply makeup before visiting the head of the department in his chamber.

In the letter, the students said that the sexual misconduct has forced them to discontinue from the institution.

Following the sexual harassment complaint, the college has constituted a committee headed by lawyer Jayanthirani. As a result, the college authorities have suspended Paul Chandramohan. The police have also started an investigation into the allegations.

Paul Chandramohan, who holds a PhD in Tamil Christian Literature has served in the college for over 20 years.

The sexual harassment case in Bishop Heber college comes on the heels of a similar case of sexual harassment that had resurfaced from Loyola College, Chennai.

Sexual harassment at Loyala College, Chennai

On May 19, OpIndia had reported the case of Josephine Jeyashanthi, a former lecturer in the college’s Tamil Department who was unjustly relieved of her duties, without being given the dues she was entitled to receive, only because she stood up against the sexual harassment she was subjected to by her superiors.

Josephine Jayashanthi, the winner of the prestigious Rangammal Prize in Tamil Nadu for her novel ‘Sangavai’, was removed from the Loyola college for waging a lone battle against a powerful system hell-bent on shielding a group of sexual predators on campus. She had alleged that Prof S A Rajarajan, the department head, sought sexual favours from her many time.

Its been 13 years since Josephine has been fighting with the mighty administration of the ‘prestigious’ Loyola College, Chennai. But, despite the Madras High Court passing a judgement in her favour in 2020, the college has not taken any action against her sexual predators, nor has it bothered to pay Josephine her back wages or compensation of Rs 59 lakhs.

Similarly, In 2019, female students from the Zoology department of Madras Christian College had complained about a professor behaving inappropriately with them during a trip. The college administration had downplayed the harassment and was dealt only with the Internal Complaints Committee of the college with no further development on the issue in the media.

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