A large group of students of Banaras Hindu University who have been sitting in protest on the campus since Saturday night after a professor, who was suspended last year over sexual harassment allegations, returned to take class, have called off the protest after the university sent the professor on a long leave.
Professor Shail Kumar Chaube of the Zoology Department was accused of passing vulgar comments and making obscene gestures at girl students while accompanying them on a study tour to Odisha in October last year.
The BHU administration said the matter has been referred back to the university's highest decision-making body and the professor has been sent on a long leave.
"The complaint against SK Chaube was looked into by the Complaints Committee. The report of the committee was considered by the executive council and a punishment was imposed on him. However, it has been decided to refer it back again to the executive council for a review of its decision," BHU said in a statement. "Till the time, the executive council reconsiders it, Chaube is directed to proceed on long leave," it said.
The professor was first suspended and a probe was ordered in June this year. However, the highest decision-making body of the university in the temple town decided to revoke the suspension and instead censure the professor.
The top officials of the university said Chaube was reinstated after looking at the report submitted by the university's internal complaints committee. They told the students that the professor has been censured and this action will go into his service record.
Chaube returned to taking classes a few days ago, sparking the protests.
On Sunday, the students alleged they were not convinced with the university's actions. They demanded the professor's resignation and filing of a First Information Report.
The students alleged there are more sexual harassment allegations against the professor that should be investigated.
BHU, a central university, has a 1300-acre campus at the temple town popular with tourists. Another 2,700-acre campus of the university at Barkachha, in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district, is coming up.
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