College admin mishandled harassment case’

LAHORE:26 October: The committee formed to probe alleged harassment case against the deceased lecturer of Government MAO College held the college administration responsible for mishandling the case and recommended to shift the college principal. The probe committee headed by Vice-Chancellor of the University of Okara, Prof Dr Zakria Zakar was formed by the Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab on 21st October with directions to submit its report within seven days. The committee, however, completed the probe within two days and submitted its report to the department on October 24 with recommendations of shifting the college principal. The committee called all relevant persons, including the female student who had levelled baseless allegations against lecturer Muhammad Afzal who allegedly committed suicide on October 9. The probe committee was of the view that the college administration didn’t warn the student after the college’s anti-harassment committee found the allegations baseless. “Even a one line warning to the student would have worked,” said one of the committee members. He said it was now up to the department as to how it could proceed in the case. Another member said, the college principal Prof Dr Farhan Ebadat Yar Khan told the committee that the lecturer was declared innocent and was allowed to continue teaching which he did until his death. The member further said the committee, however, observed that the student should have been warned too which the administration failed to do. It is pertinent to mention here that sudden death of the lecturer Muhammad Afzal of the college’s English Department had reportedly turned out to be an alleged suicide on October 19. Late Afzal was exonerated in the harassment case but he had not received any clearance certificate from the college. This non issuance of certificate came to limelight following a letter which late Afzal had written to the inquiry committee head Prof Dr Aalyia Rehman on October 8 and went viral on social media a couple of days back. It was in this backdrop the HED Punjab had formed the committee to probe alleged harassment case against the deceased.The news.

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