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St. Xavier's University teacher "forced to resign" over Instagram post

St. Xavier’s University teacher “forced to resign” over Instagram post

August 9, 2022
-Mita Mukherjee

A former teacher of St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata has alleged that the university forced her to resign last October on charges of posting photos of herself in which she was seen wearing a swimsuit at her house.

The woman, who has a dual PhD degree from two European universities alleged that she was summoned to the university on October 24 last year and asked to resign for posting “objectionable” and “inappropriate” photos of herself in the social media.

Father Felix Raj, vice chancellor of St. Xavier’s University was contacted by EducationWorld for his comment. But he did not answer the calls.

The woman said she had lodged a complaint with the Purba Jadavpur police station in East Kolkata. She is now contemplating taking legal action against the university authorities, she told EducationWorld.

According to sources in the university, a complaint from a father of a male student, who is a Xaverian, had prompted the authorities to ask the teacher to resign.

The woman in her complaint said that the guardian had said in his letter to the university that he had “spotted” his son looking at “objectionable” photographs of her on Instagram.

The authorities had allegedly pointed out to the teacher that by posting such “objectionable” pictures she was besmirching the reputation of the university.

The woman said in her complaint it was still a mystery to her how the university accessed the pictures.

The only way in which such Instagram Stories can be accessed by other parties is by hacking or if someone circulates screenshots of the pictures after they have been posted, the woman has said in the complaint.

In her complain she has alleged “suspected hacking” and “sexual harassment.”

According to the woman, initially, the Purba Jadavpur police station had refused to take the FIR. Later the case was transferred to Techno City police station in whose jurisdiction the university falls, in February.  

In her second complaint with the Techno City police station the woman has urged the police to find out how the pictures got circulated.

She has filed a fresh FIR at the Techno City police station.  

“The photographs in question — of which two were pictures of me in a bathing suit, taken privately in my room — can only be viewed by people I explicitly give access to in the form of approval of their follow requests…” the woman has written in her complaint.

According to the woman, the university authorities had not shown her the complaint of the guardian on the basis of which she was asked to resign.

 “They have not shown me the complaint,” the woman told EducationWorld. The university officials had read out the guardian’s letter to her, she said.

After reading out the letter she was asked to confirm whether they were her photos.

Once she agreed they were hers, she was told that there were two options. The university could terminate her service or she could put in her papers voluntarily.

She submitted her resignation but made it explicit that she had been harassed and humiliated, she said.

Also Read: Online entrance tests for UG admissions at St Xavier’s University

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