Sexual harassment charges surfaced against the Vice-Chancellor of the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) on Tuesday with a former syndicate member of Mysuru University, K Mahadevu releasing an audio clip.
Mahadevu has alleged that KSOU Vice-Chancellor Vidyashankar S has misused his position to exploit a woman employee of the varsity. "After the release of this audio clip, if Vidyashankar continues in the position, we must think that there is not an iota of respect. The Chief Minister, the Higher Education Minister and the Governor should initiate action against the VC immediately," he urged.
The audio clip allegedly contains a conversation between the husband of the victim and Vidyashankar. The husband rebukes the VC for asking his wife to send selfies, asking her to come to Bengaluru to collect a diamond set. The husband also questions why the VC transferred Rs 15,000 to his wife.
As Vidyashankar sounds apologetic, the husband says that if his wife had approached him, it was his duty to pull her up, instead he had taken advantage of his position to exploit her.
There was high drama in the Mysuru Press Club as Vidyashankar's followers including the regional director barged into the club and prevented Mahadevu and others from holding a press conference there. Later, Vidyashankar's supporters were pushed out.
Mahadevu has lodged a police complaint about the incident with the K R police station.
Sudhakar Hosalli, the regional director who attempted to stop the press conference, stated that private matters are being dragged into the open for vested interests. Mahadevu is angry that his people were not recruited at the KSOU. The victims in this case have not come forward, he added.
Meanwhile, sources said that the allegation surfaced after the search committee shortlisted three vice-chancellor candidates including KSOU VC Vidyashankar on September 24 for the prestigious Visvesvaraya Technological University.