FAISALABAD: The discipline committee of the Government College University Faisalabad (FCUF) has categorically mentioned in its findings that a student of the mass communication department has been found involved in submitting “fake complaints” on the Citizen Portal against a faculty member, Dr Salma Umber, and that the issue needs to be probed further.

However, acting vice chancellor Dr Nasir Ameen wasted no time to remove Dr Umber from the post of coordinator of the varsity’s mass communication department on ‘administrative ground’.

Dr Umber had submitted a harassment complaint against Waseem Nawaz, a student of the mass communication department, on May 15 last and mentioned in her application that he had harassed her in her office. The varsity administration, instead of taking action against Nawaz, formed a committee on May 21 to probe into six complaints against Dr Umber.

Following the harassment complaint, some TV channels aired a footage in which Nawaz could be seen in a furious mood outside the office of Dr Umber and hurling threats at her. Dr Umber also related her ordeal to the viewers in an interview.

Varsity sources said the acting VC was not happy with Dr Umber for giving the interview to the electronic media and sharing of the footage with the TV channels allegedly by her.

They said Dr Ameen had conveyed his annoyance to Dr Umber and warned her of “consequences”.

They said it showed mala fide intent on GCUF administrations’ part that two bodies-- deans committee and discipline committee-- were given the task of conducting probes against a teacher who had been serving the institution for years and some senior faculty members protecting the student who misbehaved with a teacher.

They said instead of convening the deans committee meeting, the administration could have tasked the discipline committee with probing into the issue. They are of the view that Dr Umber was removed on “fragile grounds”.

In the removal notification issued on June 14 last, the assistant registrar said that following the recommendations of the Deans Committee made in its meeting held on May 31 last, “the VC is pleased to relieve Dr Umber from the assignment of coordinator on administrative ground with immediate effect”.

It added that faculty of arts and social sciences dean would look after the affairs of the department till further orders.

The sources said the acting VC was annoyed with Dr Umber for involving the media in the matter, though she had nothing to do with the reports run by some TV channels against him. They said Dr Umber had no access to the documents on which these reports against Dr Amin were based.

Dr Umber has filed a writ petition with the Lahore High Court, challenging her removal. She stated in the petition that the discipline committee took her complaint as agenda item number 6 and deferred a decision on it. She said that despite the fact that the matter was deferred by the committee, she was removed from coordinator’s slot on June 16.

She regretted that instead of providing justice to her in harassment complaint, the administration issued notification of her removal “as I have been punished for filing complaint against Nawaz”.

Dr Amin did not reply to the queries sent to his WhatsApp account for his version.

The GCUF spokesperson said the deans’ committee recommended removal of Dr Umber from the post because of mismanagement in the affairs of the mass communication department. He said the committee held its meetings officially on the directions of the acting vice chancellor from time to time and the minutes were recorded.

He said Dr Umber was given full opportunity to present her stance and she availed it.

He added that the misbehaving student (Nawaz) was suspended by the discipline committee on the complaint of Dr Umber and his entry on the campus was also banned.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019