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. An audio clip featuring the purported conversation between the lecturer and some students went viral on Sunday.
Members of All India Democratic Women Association along with students staged a sit-in protest in front of the college pressing the college authorities to file a police complaint on the incident that happened in mid-March.
Tamilnadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University to which the college is affiliated, set up a "high powered enquiry" committee to look into "certain immoral" happenings surrounding the lecturer.
"It is important to enquire into such matters immediately and without prejudice so that the guilty do not escape without punishment", the Governor said.
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. "Citing that part, she has said she wouldn't have made the suggestion if she wanted students to perform sexual favours", he said. Addressing the pupil on the other end as "kanna", she says that till now, under teacher-students relationship, she has supported them academically.
She is insistent when the girls appears to be uninterested in the offer. As soon as the complaint was received, she was asked to report back to the college.
She said: "On the academic side, I can take the four of you to a big level, I can assure you that". They expect college students to get things done... "I am saying this for your good", she is heard saying in the clip.
".You might have seen the video of Governor's visit which I had given you". Because they are high ranking officials of the university.
When the girls tell her not to talk about this again, Nirmala Devi seeks an assurance from them that they will not reveal the conversation to anyone.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters in Chennai that such "black sheep" can not be allowed and assured that the government will take action against her. "It is an autonomous college which will draft its own question paper and correct it". "I have ordered the probe team to submit its report in 15 days", he told reporters. "We demand an impartial probe into the issue to bring out all those powerful people behind the assistant professor", she said.