Legal Action Likely Against Kolkata Professor Over Remark On Virginity

The Jadavpur University professor triggered protests after he compared a virgin woman to a "sealed bottle" on a Facebook post. He has been taken off his duties.

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Legal Action Likely Against Kolkata Professor Over Remark On Virginity

Jadavpur University students staged a protest demanding the expulsion of Kanak Sarkar. (File)


Kolkata: 

Two days after the Jadavpur University in Kolkata removed professor Kanak Sarkar for a misogynist social media post, its Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das has said he is thinking of a legal action in the case to ensure such incidents do not occur again.

The Jadavpur University professor triggered protests after he compared a virgin woman to a "sealed bottle" on a Facebook post. He has been taken off his duties. Kanak Sarkar, who taught International Relations at the university, was removed after a student-teacher committee found his Facebook post offensive.

Kanak Sarkar had likened a virgin woman to a "sealed bottle" or "packet" in a Facebook post on Sunday. He later deleted the post and justified the action in another post claiming freedom of speech.

Screenshots of the post went viral on social media, triggering outrage.

Mr Das said strict action would be taken against the professor as per university statute.

"Sarkar has been barred from entering the campus till the time a university-appointed committee files its report for thorough examination. We are mulling strictest legal action against him. Additionally, the National Commission for Women (NCW) and West Bengal women's commission are also probing charges against him," he said.

The vice chancellor also said he will do his bit to cooperate with NCW representatives if and when they visit the campus next week.

Students of the international relations department boycotted classes on Monday and Tuesday, demanding Mr Sarkar's immediate ouster.

A student today said classes resumed following the issuance of a notification on Mr Sarkar's dismissal by the university.

"We have been regularly attending classes since Wednesday as a notification issued by our departmental head clearly stated that Sarkar has been divested of his teaching duties," she added.

The notification, signed by departmental head Prof Omprakash Mishra, said, "in view of the recommendation of the department of International Relations Prof Kanak Sarkar is divested of his teaching duties with immediate effect..."

Mr Mishra said several students have filed written complaints of alleged inappropriate conduct against the professor following the outrage over his Facebook post.

The department received around 35 written complaints against Mr Sarkar, based on which action was taken against him, he said.

In the Facebook post, Mr Sarkar also asked if someone was willing to buy a bottle of cold drink or a packet of biscuits with a broken seal, adding, "most boys, virgin wife is like angel."

The professor, still defiant, later said it was intended for "fun" among a group of friends on social media and "not for public consumption".

"Someone took a screenshot of the post and forwarded it, which triggered the response. I did not intend to hurt anyone's sentiment or insult any woman," he said.



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