Symbiosis Suspends Two Faculty Members Over #MeToo Allegations
The Symbiosis International University (SIU) has suspended two faculty members of the varsity’s media college in Pune, Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC), over sexual harassment allegations, reported on Monday, 22 October. Reports say faculty members Vijay Shelar and Suhas Gatne have been suspended.
The suspensions come after some students and alumni filed an official complaint to the university alleging harassment by the director of the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC), Anupam Siddhartha. They also accused Siddhartha of “neglecting” complaints against the two suspended faculty members.
The SIU had earlier asked Siddhartha to go on leave while the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) was investigating the allegations against the SCMC director.
De Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of the Symbiosis Society, told The Hindu, “In the midst of this investigation, we received a letter on Friday evening, signed by 106 students which made some shocking allegations against him [Mr Siddhartha]. We immediately referred it to the ICC, which called him on Saturday for investigations. The committee has said that he should stay away from campus duties pending an inquiry.”
In two open letters since 10 October, SCMC had requested complainants to come forward after about a dozen students shared their stories on social media.
The institute also put out a notice saying it will host multiple “gender sensitisation” sessions in the campus. The aim, the notice said, was to spread awareness among students and the faculty, and introduce measures to prevent harassment.
(With inputs from The Hindu)