Saturday, May 20, 2017

Seminary Principal of Madurai Theological college face Sexual Abuse Charge

Seminary principal accused of sexual harassment

The seminary is an ecumenical venture of Tamil churches in Arasaradi, Madurai. Posted on April 9, 2013, 4:53 PM

A probe has been sought against the principal of a theological seminary in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, for alleged sexual harassment, misappropriation of funds and nepotism.

In a petition submitted to district collector Anshul Mishra on Monday, the staff and faculty of the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary leveled charges against Gnanavaram, saying that there were a large number of sexual harassment incidents in the past three years, but they were not reported.

Citing a specific sexual harassment incident, which surfaced recently, J David Rajendren, representative of the faculties said, "Gnanavaram had attempted to molest a doctoral student hailing from a north eastern state. Although the incident took place at the end of 2009, the girl did not want to reveal the incident.”

He said that now the girl has come forward to raise the issue and has submitted a complaint to the faculty members.

“We wanted the district collector's intervention in the issue, hence submitted a petition to him," he said.

Rajendran said that the girl, who hails from a tribal community, was undergoing a course through scholarship.

Her scholarship to the tune of more than 600,000 rupees accumulated in three years, was not distributed to her since she resisted the principal’s alleged physical advancements, he said.

As the issue has surfaced now, the principal returned the amount to the University Grants Commission, he added.

S. Cruz Durai, professor of the seminary also accused the principal of nepotism and misappropriation of funds.

Durai claimed that the principal favored 12 of his family members and relatives to get seats and employment in the college.

At present, a few key positions in the college and its sister concerns are occupied by his family members and relatives, he alleged.

"The seminary attracts donations from several countries and the principal allegedly utilized them for his personal purpose and his own projects. There have been several cases of misappropriation of funds in the seminary which need detailed investigations," he added.

Gnanavaram, however, rejected all charges against him.

"All the allegations are false. They are based on personal vendetta, which arose out of the competition for the principal's post in which three persons including David Rajendren were there,” the said.

The seminary is an ecumenical venture of Tamil churches in Arasaradi, Madurai.

Source: Times of India

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