Tamil Nadu sex scandal: Governor criticised for ordering his own enquiry

DMK working President MK Stalin said confusion had been created by TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit ordering a probe into an alleged sex scandal in a college in his capacity as Chancellor

IANS Photo
IANS Photo

NH Web Desk

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday ruled out his resignation in the wake of a raging controversy over a sex scandal in a college in the state involving an assistant professor.

The allegations involve a woman professor at a college in Virudhunagar district, who allegedly sought to lure four BSc third-year girl students into sexual favours to "higher ups" in return for academic privileges and appointments from the government.

The professor at Madurai Kamaraj University-affiliated Devanga Arts College, Nirmala Devi, was further heard boasting about her connections to top government officials. The 20-minute long conversation, in which Devi also said that she was on the dais at a function in which the Governor was present, has been going viral on social media since Saturday. In the wake of the damning clip going public, Devi was suspended and subsequently arrested on Monday.

Denying that he had anything to do with Devi, Purohit promised an enquiry into the case at a press conference on Tuesday. "I attend so many convocation functions. So many people move around dais. I have not seen her (Nirmala Devi's) face till date. I don't know that lady at all," Purohit told reporters, adding that he would decide whether to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case once the report of the one-man committee headed by a retired senior officer R Santhanam is submitted.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties have seized on the allegations as they mounted an attack on Purohit, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

DMK working President MK Stalin said confusion had been created by the Governor ordering a probe in his capacity as Chancellor. PMK leader Ramadoss echoed similar views. He said, “Only a high court-monitored CBI probe should be ordered.”

Asked at the press conference as to why he had ordered a probe when the Vice Chancellor had constituted a five-member committee to go into the issue, the Governor said he was the "supreme authority" in matters relating to colleges and universities in the state and rejected state Higher Education Minister Anbazhagan's statement that the Governor's decision was arbitrary.

"On the basis of the report of the one-man committee I will take stringent action. I assure the people of Tamil Nadu that stringent action will be taken so that such incidents don't recur. Normally, the Chancellor is empowered to constitute a committee."

He said the Vice Chancellor had made a mistake in constituting the inquiry and that he had now rectified it.

With IANS inputs.

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