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'Have Not Seen her Face Till Date': TN Governor Denies Any Wrongdoing in 'Sex for Degrees Case'

Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, had on Monday evening set up a 'high powered' enquiry committee to look into çertain 'immoral happenings' surrounding the lecturer.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:April 17, 2018, 7:31 PM IST
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'Have Not Seen her Face Till Date': TN Governor Denies Any Wrongdoing in 'Sex for Degrees Case'
File photo of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. (Image: PTI)
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday denied any association with the professor who was arrested this morning for allegedly advising students "to adjust with some officials" at Madurai Kamaraj University in return for higher marks and money.

Nirmala Devi, of Devanga Arts College, had claimed she she was close to the Governor, who is the chancellor of the university.

“I have not seen her face till date. What are you talking. It is nonsense, baseless (on how he is being questioned by the home ministry on sexual harassment cases against him),” said the Governor to reporters this evening.

The woman though can be heard bragging in the audio clip that "you know how close I was to the Governor".

"Certain incidents happen. Governor is not a grandfather. You know how close I was to the Governor. I can now be more liberal, but people outside won't know. If I tell you who it is, you will give me answer faster. They will maintain secrecy and privacy to that level," Nirmala Devi can be heard boasting in the audio clip.

The Governor said that the guilty will be brought to book and admitted that there was some mistake on the part of Vice chancellor’s office.

"The guilty has to be punished. We have set up a one-man committee. Strict action will be taken against whoever is guilty. There was some mistake on the part of VC's office,” said the Governor

The Governor though ruled out the CBI inquiry into the matter.

"State government cannot interfere in matters of universities. After receiving the report from the committee, we will see if we should transfer the case to the CBI. If it (CBI probe) is needed, I will be the first to order," said the Governor.

The Governor, who is the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, had on Monday evening set up a 'high powered' enquiry committee to look into çertain 'immoral happenings' surrounding the lecturer.

Student Organisations too had staged a protest on Tuesday outside Anna University demanding a thorough investigation and said that the Governor step down. While the state government maintained that the accused will be brought to book, the opposition parties demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident.

MK Stalin, working president, DMK said: "It is confusing that Governor has ordered for an inquiry in Nirmala Devi's case. Only a CBI inquiry under the supervision of the Madras High Court will bring out the truth."

Police sources said Nirmala's phone had pictures of students and also contacts of senior officials and were looking at the links of people who were involved in the racket.

Students and parents of Devanga Arts College at Aruppukkottai in Virudhunagar district, the college where Nirmala worked as Assistant Professor, staged a protest demanding the arrest of the professor.

The professor had locked herself up the whole of Monday and was arrested by the police officers who forced themselves in after 7pm and took her away.

Before she was arrested, Nirmala said: "I am ready to clarify. I don't know who spread the message and as time has passed things have gone haywire. I had clarified that I was the one who spoke in the recording, but I want to clarify that it is not what I said. The students have interpreted the message in a wrong manner. I don’t have anything else to say."

On Sunday, a 19-minute audio conversation of Nirmala talking to students went viral. In the audio clip, Nirmala is alleged to have said, "For some opportunity, something needs to be done secretly. You will get financial and academic support. You should do it without anyone knowing about it. It is upto you to do it with or without the knowledge of your parents. We can plan accordingly. We can open a bank account and deposit the money that comes in."

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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