DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The Gomal University on Thursday sacked its four staff members, including two senior teachers, over sexual harassment of girl students.

The sacked staffers include Prof Bakhtiar Khan, a faculty member of the Institute of Business Administration, Imran Qureshi, an assistant professor of the same institute, Hafeezullah, a game supervisor, and Hafeezullah, a lab attendant.

The notification issued for the sacking of Dr Bakhtiar and Imran Qureshi said action was taken against the two staff members under the Gomal University Employees Efficiency and Discipline, 2016, over involvement in the acts of sexual harassment of girl students.

It added that proper inquiries were conducted against the staff members, while recommendations were placed before the university’s syndicate in 98th meeting, which approved them.

According to the notification, both faculty members were summoned to appear before a standing committee of the syndicate for personal hearing but they ‘willfully abstained and did not offer any defence’.

Two senior teachers among them, admin blames delayed action on ‘administrative issues’

It added that the competent authority in exercise of powers conferred on it under the KP Universities Act, 2012, read with the Gomal University Employees Efficiency and Discipline Statues, 2016, concluded that further retention of Prof Bakhtair Khan and Imran Qureshi was prejudicial for the university on account of proven grave misconduct of sexual harassment and therefore, both the faculty members were awarded major punishment of dismissal from service with an immediate effect.

Lab attendant Hafeezullah and game supervisor Hikmatullah were terminated from service over ‘grave misconduct of sexual harassment’.

A university statement issued here said the provincial governor, higher education secretary, district

administration and civil society had repeatedly emphasised that the varsity was not taking action against the staff members involved in sexual harassment.

The university blamed ‘administrative issues’ for the delay in action against the culprits.

The statement said in light of the government’s directions, four staffers of the university had been sacked, while cases against some other such employees were also in progress and they, too, would be punished soon.

It added that the university had acted on all recommendations made in the report of the governor’s inspection team.

This is the second development related to sexual harassment in the Gomal University during the last 10 days.

On Feb 24, Prof Hafiz Salahuddin was forced to resign after a private television channel caught him harassing a girl student in a sting operation.

Prof Hafiz Salahuddin headed the university’s Islamic Research Centre and worked as the chairman of the Islamic Studies Department and coordinator of the city campus.

As part of the sting operation, a girl student went to his office for some work where the senior faculty member tried to harass her.

The harassment bid was recorded in the video, which was later shown to the university’s top administration, which forced Prof Hafiz Salahuddin to quit.

Source said complaints of sexual harassment against the professor were also being probed.

Prof Salahuddin was arrested by the cantonment police on March 1 after a lecturer of the Gomal University accused him of threatening him.

The police said lecturer Shahryar Alizai told police that Prof Salahuddin asked him to carry out ‘illegal’ actions but when he refused to do so, the professor insulted him and threatened to transfer him to the university’s campus in Tank district.

The police booked Prof Salahuddin under sections 506, 500 and 106 of the Pakistan Penal Code and under Section 25 of the Telegraph Act before arresting him.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2020

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