FAISALABAD: A professor has been asked to probe the charge of harassing girl students against an assistant professor despite the fact that the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) harassment committee has already declared the suspect guilty.

Earlier, three committees had probed the issue which surfaced in March this year. First, an ‘ethics committee’ headed by Dr Amanullah Malik was asked to probe the matter.

Later, it was replaced with a ‘fact-finding committee’ comprising three deans of different departments, including the director general of the National Institute of Food Sciences and Technology (NIFSAT), a department where the incident allegedly took place on March 1 and 2. And finally the matter was handed over to the Harassment Committee comprising Prof Dr Farzana Rizvi of Pathology Department, Dr Rao Zahid Abbas, associate professor of Parasitology Department, and Dr Ayesha Sameen, the assistant professor of NIFSAT.

Three students of MSc (Hons) had alleged that their supervisor had sexually harassed them and used objectionable language while checking their theses. The UAF immediately replaced the supervisor.

The harassment committee convener recommended that “the matter was discussed in detail and it is found that Dr Shehzad Muzammil has been found guilty.” The committee held six meetings from March 29 to April 13.

Now Dr Qamar Bilal, a professor at the Institute of Animal & Dairy Sciences, has been asked to give an opportunity of personal hearing to Dr Muzammil within seven days and submit recommendation for implementation. He has also been asked to issue a show-cause cum personal hearing notice to Dr Muzammil under the PEEDA Act, 2006.

The university spokesman told this correspondent that action would be taken against the teacher under the PEEDA Act.

“We have contacted the Registrar Office and the Litigation Department. The detailed information will be shared within a couple of days,” he added.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2021

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