After an audio clip of her luring her students into prostitution went viral, Nirmala Devi, Assistant Professor at Mathematics department of the Madurai’s Devanga Arts College was arrested on Monday in Virudhunagar, even as Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Madurai Kamaraj University ordered separate probes.The assistant professor of the autonomous college was finally arrested from her house after she locked herself when the police reached there.Based on a complaint lodged by college secretary R Ramasamy in Virudhunagar district a case was registered against Nirmala Devi under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 370 (Buying or disposing of any person as a slave, 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) besides, Section 67 of the Information Technology Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form).The audio clip of Nirmala Devi trying to persuade her students to yield to sexual urges of high ranking officials of the university had gone viral on Sunday leading to college authorities placing her under suspension. 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.Citing the media reports of the immoral happenings in the college at Aruppukottai, Governor Purohit on Monday ordered a high powered enquiry by retired bureaucrat R Santhanam IAS into the issue after the report submitted by the university. “It is important to enquire into such matters immediately and without prejudice so that guilty do not escape without punishment,” the statement said. Earlier, the university has separately ordered a probe by a five-member committee into the incident while the college also formed a disciplinary committee to inquire.In the 19-minute audio clip, Devi who calls her students affectionately as ‘Kanna’ (Dear) attempts to entrap them to offer sexual favours in return for money and academic progress. Without using any direct reference to sexual favour, she indirectly implies that as a teacher, she had supported them till now academically. “Now an opportunity is awaiting them to go take their life to next level,” she said, noting that they could earn money and it would be transferred directly to their bank accounts.When the girls indicate appears to be uninterested, she was insistent saying that it was for “a very, very high-level person. You can consider it as a favour.” She also asks them to take their own time and get back to her in a couple of days. “I can assure you can scale great heights because they are high-ranking officials of the Madurai Kamaraj University. They expect college students to get things done… You will understand things easily,” she can be heard saying in the audio clip.“…You might have seen the video of Governor’s visit which I had given you. The higher official I am referring to is not the governor, the old man, but someone of that stature,” she said.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. While Nirmala Devi could not be contacted, she told a television channel that her intention was not bad and the girls misunderstood what she said.The university vice chancellor PP Chelladurai denied any connection to the varsity officials on the issue. “It is an autonomous college which will draft its own question paper and correct it. The university has no role in the exams. So we cannot offer any favour for the students as claimed in the audio,” he said, alleging that there could have been a conspiracy over the circulation of the audio clip. “I have ordered the probe team to submit its report in 15 days,” he told reporters.Nirmala Rani, advocate and member of AIDWA who led a protest in the college opposed multiple enquiries ordered by Governor, the university and the college as it would only lead to secondary victimisation of the poor girl students who firmly said no to the offer made by her teacher. “We demand an impartial probe into the issue to bring out all those powerful people behind the assistant professor,” she said.Senior AIADMK leader and Minister D Jayakumar assured severe punishment under the law for the professor for luring the students into flesh trade. “Personally, I think we should adopt the punishment methods of the Arab countries. Such people should be killed by an encounter,” he told reporters here. DMK working president and CPI (M) state secretary K Balakrishnan sought a Madras High Court-monitored probe.

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Tamil Nadu: College teacher arrested for ‘luring’ students into prostitution