Hundreds of students of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) staged a protest on the main road outside varsity near Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center (JPMC) against the alleged sexual harassment of a student. The university has subsequently suspended the teacher pending further processing.
Meanwhile, riot police have been called to the university.
According to students, a female student Friday broke the silence over her alleged sexual harassment by a lecturer at the university.
Subsequently, several students brawled with the teacher, and a video showed a student striking the teacher with her slipper.
The university management later issued a notice of suspending the teacher and stated that a case was filed in both the harassment committee and the disciplinary committee, and an inquiry has been started.
On Saturday morning, scores of students gathered in the university. They staged a protest against the university management as they demanded that the management terminate the teacher’s services.
“This is not the first case of harassment of a student in the university,” a student told SAMAA TV, adding that over two dozen cases have been reported to the university management, but little to no action was taken.
Another student said they used to complain about the teacher. Still, the complaints were either never formally filed or withdrawn when the varsity threatened no not to pass them or promote them if they did not remove the complaints.
Meanwhile, a statement from the university press officer said that the incident was the girl’s fault. This statement further enraged students who questioned whether the officer was even a university employee since they had never seen the officer on campus.
Further, the students said that the police were threatening to arrest them for protesting.
Vice chancellor’s threats
The harassed student demanded that the university administration immediately fire the accused teacher.
Demanding justice, she said that she must be included in the inquiry committee if there is any.
If her demands are not fulfilled, she said that she would approach law enforcement agencies.
The student further claimed that the vice-chancellor had been threatening her that if she did not call off the protest, action would be taken against her.
Can’t dismiss anyone on demands
JSU Media Coordinator Asifia shared that the teacher had been suspended, while strict action will be taken up after an inquiry.
Jinnah Sindh Medical University is a safe place for female students, and the education and protection of students is the responsibility of JSMU, Asifia said, adding that a teacher can not just be fired on claims made by students, but action will be taken following due process which is currently underway.
“No attempt is being made to save any teacher. If the students have never submitted the application, how can management take action?” says Asifia.