Principal responsible for negligence in harassment case against Lahore lecturer: report

Principal of Government MAO College, Dr Farhan Ibadat, showed negligence in case of harassment allegations against lecturer

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LAHORE: An inquiry committee probing the suicide of late Muhammad Afzal, a lecturer of English at the Government MAO College, held the educational institute's principal responsible for negligence, according to sources, after it submitted a report to the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED).

Sources at the Punjab HED said the committee suggested a departmental inquiry be launched against the principal of the Government MAO College, Dr Farhan Ibadat, and that it was also pondering removing him from the post.

Also read: Lahore lecturer commits suicide after harassment allegations

The report noted that Dr Ibadat showed negligence in his dealings pertaining to the case of sexual harassment allegations levelled against Afzal wherein the late lecturer was absolved of the accusations but had not been provided an official letter by Dr Ibadat — or the college administration — to clear his name.

Despondent at not having anything to show to prove his innocence, Afzal had committed suicide a day after he penned a letter to the head of the committee that had absolved him of the sexual harassment allegations, Dr Alia Rehman, requesting her to help him obtain the said letter and mentioning how the false claims of sexual misconduct had ruined his personal life.

Also read: Case was mishandled, decision delayed, says Kashmala Tariq

On Wednesday, the federal ombudsperson for protection against harassment of women at the workplaces, Kashmala Tariq, had said Afzal's case "was mishandled and there was a delay in making a decision on it".

She had added: "This incident [of Afzal's suicide] was due to negligence and could have been prevented."

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