PU VC forms body to probe sexual harassment allegations -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PU VC forms body to probe sexual harassment allegations

LAHORE: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran has formed a fact-finding committee to probe the alleged sexual harassment involving Prof Dr Iftikhar Baloch.

The four-member committee is headed by Faculty of Islamic Studies Dean Prof Dr Hafiz Mahmood Akhtar, its secretary is Additional Registrar Prof Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir while the other members are Principal College of Arts and Design (CAD) Prof Dr Rahat Naveed and Faculty of Commerce Dean Prof Dr Liaquat Ali.

A PU official said the committee held its first meeting on Monday and was expected to come up with its findings within a week. Meanwhile, activists of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) on PU New Campus staged a protest demonstration on Monday demanding immediate removal of Dr Iftikhar Baloch.

The demo was organised at the Institute of Geology as the IJT activists claimed that Dr Baloch, despite being suspended, visited the institute. It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Baloch was transferred and later suspended by the PU VC recently, following registration of two FIRs against him accusing him of being involved in harassment.

It is also important to note that Dr Baloch was thrashed and badly injured earlier this year when some IJT activists attacked his office as he, being head of the disciplinary committee, had expelled a number of Jamiat activists from the university.

Some PU teachers believe that the recent demos by Jamiat against Dr Baloch are a clear reaction of the said incident, adding that the student group had become quite notorious after thrashing the senior faculty member. They also believe that the alleged incident of sexual harassment demand immediate attention of the PU administration and suggest that the CCTV cameras installed outside offices of the various department heads should be installed inside the offices and connected with a central control room.

The teachers believe that the whole teaching community was embarrassed though so far nothing has been proved regarding the incident. Another worth mentioning point is that Dr Baloch has been denying the incident, terming it a part of conspiracy against him.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that PU administration has identified two IJT activists who had allegedly tortured a Sociology Department student, Waqas, a couple of days ago. The student was thrashed and later taken to a hostel by IJT activists just because he was sitting with some female class fellows in a ground near the VCís office.
Source: The News
Date:11/9/2010