Hyderabad varsity prof jailed for sexually harassing foreign student

A professor of University of Hyderabad has been sent to jail on allegation of trying to sexually assault a foreign student.

Ravi Ranjan, a professor in the Department of Hindi, was presented before a magistrate, who remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days, the police said on Sunday. He was shifted to Sangareddy jail.

The 62-year-old professor was arrested on Saturday after a student from Thailand, doing masters at the central university, lodged a police complaint against him and student protests erupted on the campus.

The police had registered a case against the professor under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354 A (sexual harassment). Following his arrest, the university had suspended him.

According to police, the professor allegedly called the student to his residence near the campus on the evening of December 2 on the pretext of teaching her Hindi and tried to sexually assault her after forcing her to consume alcohol.

The accused later dropped her at the hostel on the campus. Deeply traumatised by the sexual assault, the victim narrated the incident to her classmates.

The victim was rushed to the health centre of the university by other students. After the checkup, she lodged a complaint with Gachibowli Police Station under Cyberabad Police Commissionerate.

Police recorded the 23-year-old victim’s statement with the help of a translator.

The students staged a protest against the professor and demanded his suspension. The students also slammed the university authorities for the delay in lodging a police complaint against the accused.

The students called off their protest after the university suspended the professor.

“The University condemns the incident that occurred involving Prof. Ravi Ranjan, and a student on December 02, 2022,” reads a statement from the university.

“Based on the criminal complaint under investigation vide FIR No. IPC 1391/2022 registered under Sections 354 and 354 (A) of the IPC with the Gachibowli Police Station, Prof. Ravi Ranjan is placed under suspension with immediate effect,” it added.

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