Dhaka: Amid an effort to combat sexual
harassment on university campuses, a professor of one of
Bangladesh`s leading institutes near the capital was demoted
and sent on "a forced leave" for two years, an official said on Sunday.
"The university syndicate yesterday ordered the
demotion and forced leave" of Sanwar Hossain Sani of Dramatics
Department in line with recommendations of a probe panel that
found allegations valid, Salam Saklain, the spokesman of the
Jahangirnagar University at Savar, told PTI on Sunday.
The university had witnessed months of protests over
demands for expulsion of Sani, who was accused sexual
harassment by some women students.
In a landmark judgement in May, the High Court laid
out a detail definition of sexual harassment, identifying 11
acts as offence against women at work places, university
campuses and public places.
The judgement ordered the setting up of complaint
cells headed by women to prevent sexual harassment at
educational institutions, offices, factories and other
workplaces. It had ruled that the identity of the accused and
complainant could not be disclosed until the allegations were
According to the ruling, any kind of provocation
through phone calls or e-mail, lewd gestures, showing of
pornography, lurid stares, physical contact or molestation,
stalking, vulgar sounds or any display of a derogatory nature
will be tantamount to sexual misdemeanour.
"Nobody can touch or hurt with any bad intention any
part of the body of a girl or woman. Any indecent word or
comment cannot be used about them, and any unknown adult girl
or any woman cannot (even) be addressed as a beautiful one
with any bad intention, the ruling said.
The guidelines suggested formation of anti-harassment
committees with a minimum of five members, most of whom have
to be women, in every institution, along with a complaint
The Attorney General’s office said the guidelines were
an interim measure until new legislation could be passed in
parliament as until now sexual harassment has not been
considered a criminal offence.