Health cradle chief denies harass charge

Patna, Feb. 2: Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences director Dr Arun Kumar today denied the charge of sexual harassment levelled on him by an associate professor of nursing.

A 35-year-old associate professor at the college of nursing had last year written a complaint to health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, accusing Dr Kumar of sexually harassing and demoting her when she turned down his alleged proposals for an affair with him. Yesterday, a team had visited the medical hub to probe into the allegations.

Dr Kumar said: "I seldom visit the college of nursing and the medical college as I don't need to go there. The college dean monitors the day-to-day activities of the college. Also, the medical college and the college of nursing are situated in two opposite directions. How can the associate professor of the college of nursing accuse me with charges of sexual harassment when there was no situation when I could meet her?"

"Through media reports I got to know that she is claiming that she turned down my repeated requests of having an affair with her. In her letter (to Choubey), she has not clearly stated when and how she was harassed because her allegations are totally false. As far as I can recall, in the last year-and-a-half since she is working here, I did not meet her once. Even in the petition she has filed in the Patna High Court, claiming she has been demoted, she has mentioned that the director was not meeting her. If I am not meeting her, how can I harass her?" he added.

Refuting claims that the associate professor was demoted, he said IGIMS had served her a showcause notice, as she did not have the requisite teaching experience for the post. The administration had decided to re-designate her as assistant professor on humanitarian grounds, which she was not ready to accept, he added.

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