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Complainants ‘harassed by BZU probe body’

MULTAN, June 22: The Bhahauddin Zakariya University BZU) administration has made a four-member inquiry committee to probe into the claims of sexual harassment by two Psychology Department students against some teachers. The committee was formed after the complainants suspected the partiality of a two-member committee. The body will submit its report to Vice-Chancellor Dr Zafarullah on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Two female students of clinical psychology’s third semester (their names and the names of the suspected teachers have been withheld till the inquiry is done) were attempting their psychotherapy paper on May 23 when subject in-charge (a female teacher) summoned them to her office on charges of cheating. They said afterwards they were forced to take off their clothes. When the girls protested the humiliation, one of the teachers, they claimed, told them that they had to please a senior male teacher.

The new body consists of Dr Khwaja Muhammad Alqama, Dr GR Pasha, Dr Sikandar Hayat and Sahr Khalil.

The complainants, however, came up with allegations against Dr Pasha and Khalil saying both had pressured them to let off the accused in turn they would help them get a job in the university.

They said the committee had not summoned the male accused while female teachers spoke against them. They said the committee did not call witnesses and only their statements were taken on telephone.

They alleged that Imtiaz Warraich, a sociology department teacher, had also threatened them if they did not forgive the accused, they be ready for consequences.

Earlier, both complainants boycotted a two-member inquiry committee, consisting of Dr Zahida Tassaduq and Dr Humaira Arif Dasti — saying both members had tired to take statements from them in the favour of accused teachers.

Dr Alqama, the head of the inquiry committee, says the complainants submitted the material supporting their claims of harassment to the committee. He said the committee would submit its report to the VC on Tuesday (tomorrow). Also, Farhan Khan, a junior clerk at the BZU, has submitted an application to the VC that Imtiaz Warraich, university teacher, forced him to give a statement that he had an affair with one of the complainants. Mr Warraich denied the allegation. Sahr Khalil and Dr Pasha were not available for comment.
Source: Dawn
Date:6/23/2008

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