Published On : Thu, Nov 19th, 2015

GMC’s Vice-Dean in a fix over sexual harrasment, dismissed!


Nagpur: In an unprecedented action against the vice dean of Government Medical College (GMC) in Nagpur, the administration has removed the officer from his post. Vice-dean Dr Makrand Vyawahare has been dismissed following the suicide attempt by a student of the forensic medicine department of Government Medical College (GMC). All his 15 classmates met the dean and levelled many more allegations against the head of their department. A female student also charged him with sexual harassment, submitting a written complaint about the same.

On Tuesday night, first-year postgraduate student Nitin Sharnagat consumed several sleeping pills. He was saved since his friends found him in time and rushed him to the hospital. In a suicide note found in his room, and in the statement given to police, he had said that Dr Vyawahare would often threaten to fail him and that nobody would be able to take any action since he is related to state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. His family also met the college dean on Wednesday, demanding tough action against the doctor.

“Even when my son had come home last week for Diwali, he was very upset. He had been telling us since the last few months about being verbally abused and threatened by his department head that he would be failed in the internal examinations of the college. It was this behaviour that provoked Nitin to take this step,” said his father TD Sharnagat, who is a principal of a junior college in Bhandara. In his complaint to the college, he wrote that if strict action is not taken against Dr Vyawahare, he would immolate himself in front of the ministers coming to the city during the winter assembly of the state legislature.

Dean Dr Abhimanyu Niswade called an emergency meeting of the college council, which consists of the heads of all departments, in the wake of these complaints. It was decided to dismiss Dr Vyawahare from the post of vice dean, which he has been holding for a few months now. They also decided to form an enquiry committee with the members to be announced on Thursday.

“The complaint of the girl mentions that Dr Vyawahare would often touch her inappropriately, make indecent comments about her appearance and often asked her to accompany him to parties,” said a teacher who attended the meeting.
In September, Dr Vyawahare’s name had come up in another issue, where the students decided to cancel the college’s Ganeshotsav midway through the festival. This was triggered by an incident where he is said to have spoken indecently to a female student about her attire. However, when the matter was being probed by college authorities, Dr Vyawahare handed them a letter signed by members of the students’ council stating that he did not misbehave with the students.

Not in good books
It is known that fellow teachers and other students too had several complaints against him. Female teachers and students are known to have complained against his words, while male teachers have said that he often uses expletives during arguments, even going to the extent of threatening to ‘take care’ of them through his political connections.

Allegations against Dr Vyawahare
Was appointed to several posts in college’s internal organization and Maharashtra State Medical Teachers Association using his political clout

Would threaten students to hold back signatures on documents or failing them in internal examinations
Would often speak in innuendos to female students, pass comments on their attire, call them in his room alone etc
Behaviour with female teachers was also indecent

Male students have complained of physical, emotional and verbal abuse