University of Karachi suspends assistant professor for harassing female student

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An assistant professor from the Urdu department at the University of Karachi has been suspended due to a harassment complaint filed by a female student. The university’s registrar, Prof. Dr. Abdul Waheed, issued a notification stating that the suspension follows the recommendation of the University’s Harassment Committee and approval from the Vice-Chancellor, under the “University of Karachi Employees (Efficiency and Discipline)” rules. During the suspension, the professor is prohibited from contacting the complaining student.

Sources within the University of Karachi have disclosed that the anti-harassment committee, in its recent meeting, considered evidence provided by security agencies that supported the complaints against the Urdu department teacher. Consequently, immediate action was deemed appropriate based on this evidence.

Reportedly, the student and her family had formally complained to security agencies about ongoing harassment by the Urdu department teacher, including inappropriate messages and an incident where the teacher approached the student in her residential area. In response to the complaints, security agencies recommended that the university launch an investigation.

Notably, prior complaints against the same teacher resulted in his suspension and a previous inquiry during a former vice-chancellor’s tenure. The inquiry committee recommended transferring the teacher to non-teaching duties, but political influence during a syndicate meeting led to the teacher’s reinstatement. The teacher had also faced course withdrawals due to complaints in the recent past.

It’s worth noting that a few years back, similar complaints were raised against another teacher within the same faculty at Karachi University. An inquiry was conducted by the Harassment Committee, but the report was never submitted to the syndicate.