Tura(Meghalaya), July 10: A conglomeration of NGOs from Garo Hills , including the GSU, FKJGP and AYWO, have written to the VC of Central Agricultural University seeking the immediate removal of the dean in charge of the College of Home Science, Puspita Das over what they termed as anti indigenous behavior.
The complaint by the NGOs comes in the wake of a police case filed against the Dean by 2 employees over sexual harassment charges. They further accused the dean of misbehavior with an interviewee as well as giving show cause notices to 3 security guards for not attending duty during the height of the pandemic in 2020.
The organizations accused the dean of misusing her position and forcing employees to work in her house in the capacity of domestic help, including giving her full body massages on a daily basis.
“We have learnt that the institution has a Grievances Redressal Cell and the Head of this Cell is the Dean herself. It is futile to hope for a fair and impartial hearing due to which the two complainants decided to seek police help on the matter,” said the NGOs.
Further the NGOs lambasted the investigation team deputed from the head office which they stated colluded with the Dean.
“Instead of impartial conduct of the investigation, they have chosen to scold the two employees for filing an FIR at the Police station and pursue the case. A show cause has also been given to one of them,” they added.
Accusing the Dean of misusing her position, the NGOs informed the VC of the extent of harassment faced by the two complainants, one a female health worker and the other a security guard – something that has now become well known.
Das has been the Dean in charge of the institution since 2015 and has been accused of using the services of employees of the institution for her personal work, including full body massages.
The NGOs further accused the CAU authorities of turning a blind eye to the complaints even after the female health worker had mentioned about the treatment meted out to her by Das in her annual confidential report.
“The female security guard toed her line in fear of losing her job, as she is not a permanent employee of the institution and this job is the only source of income to support her family,” they added.
Calling the acts a gross and blatant misuse of one’s position, they said that the Dean needed to be put in her place. We will not be a mute spectator for all the injustice towards our people and urge the police and authorities to charge her under SC/ST Act 1989, under which the present Case is a perfect fit. She should also be booked under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and exemplary punishment be given,” added the NGOs.
The NGOs lastly urged the head office of CAU to immediately remove Das from the position she holds in the Tura facility and appoint someone who works for the interest of the people.
“We have lost faith in her and will not allow her to continue. We fear that the presence of Dr Das will hamper the work environment and urge the authorities. We will not even hesitate to demonstrate in the University itself if the Dean is not removed,” threatened the NGOs.