Woman Prof held for 'luring' students, TN Guv orders probe


Nirmala Devi who was a maths teacher at the prestigious college in Virudhnagar locked herself up in her house after she found a tip of police personnel posted outside her house at Chokkalinga Nagar at noon.

The entire controversy began last month when Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor of Mathematics of the college had a 20-minute telephonic conversation with four undergraduate girl students after asking one of the girls to switch on the phone's speaker.

The Tamil Nadu Government on Monday promised stringent action against the Woman Professor of Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai on the charges of persuading her students to "yield" to sexual favours of higher ranking officials of the university, even as the PMK demanded her arrested and a CBI probe against her.

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In the audio clip, the academic doesn't explicitly mention sexual favours, but she does say the officials want "help" from college students, and promises that their "separate" accounts will be credited with funds. Without using any direct reference to sexual favour, she indirectly implies that as a teacher, she had supported them till now academically. "I can assure you can scale great heights because they are high-ranking officials of the Madurai Kamaraj University". They are expecting college students for successfully completing an important assignment.

When the students refused to acquiesce to her proposition, Nirmala Devi asked them to not be hasty and take a few days to think it through. Earlier, the university has separately ordered a probe by a five-member committee into the incident while the college also formed a disciplinary committee to inquire. "If this happening in a rural area near Madurai, there could be many operating like her in the university's jurisdiction" said Professor Mohammed A Kalam, Professor of Applied Social Sciences, LIBA, Chennai. "Such black sheep should be weeded out", he told reporters. "We demand an impartial probe into the issue to bring out all those powerful people behind the assistant professor", she said. DMK working president and CPI (M) state secretary K Balakrishnan sought a Madras High Court-monitored probe.