Bishop, two others face molestation charge 

Published on: 11:16 pm, March 11, 2016 Story By: Matters India Reporter

Bhopal: Police in a central Indian state have registered a case of molestation against Bishop and two others following complaint from a professor who is teaching in a Church-run institute for social work studies.

The Church leaders denied the charges terming it as a revengeful act to target them for not succumbing to her pressure to appoint her as principal of Indore School of Social Work (ISSW).

ISSW, started in 1951, is one of the oldest and premier schools of social work in central India.

Church of North India Bishop Robert Ali of Indore, Pastor Manoj Charan and a former ISSW principal Professor Jacob Thudipara are facing criminal offence.

The case has been field in the Sanyogitaganj police station, Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh state, on March 5 following complaint from Professor Ranjana Sehgal, the seniormost professor in the institute.

Since the charges against three are serious, they have already moved the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court for anticipatory bail, according to pastor Charan.

“This is absolutely a fake case,” he told mattersindia.com on Saturday. “This is an attempt to target us for objecting her attempt to assume the office of principal,” he added.

The premier institute has been without a regular principal for the past eight months following the retirement of Thudipara. He, however, continued to discharge the duty as officiating principal in the wake of delay in finding a successor for him.

Meanwhile, Sehgal demanded her appointment as principal which the management refused as it is a minority institution.

Pastor Charan says being a minority institute it is the prerogative of the management to appoint the principal anyone qualified.

Sehagal, however, disagreed with the contention of the school management and approached the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court questioning the continuance of Thudipara as officiating principal and her right to the post on the merit of her seniority.

The High Court, however, directed the management to appointment a full time principal keeping in view of the government norms, says pastor Charan who is the newly appointed care taker of the institute.

On March 5, Sehgal forcefully entered the principal’s office and sat on the chair citing a letter from director higher education, which is not the appointing authority.

When she was asked to vacate the office she refused initially and later created mayhem in the school and left. Later on, she got a fake complaint registered against us,” the pastor said.

Refuting their claims, Sehga, who has taught in the institute for 15 year, says she was fighting a just battle for saving the institute from corrupt people “My motto is not to become principal as being alleged,” She told mattersindia.com.

Asked about the case, she says, “Yes, molestation, manhandling among other charges have been registered against them.”

“They outraged my modesty and attacked while throwing me out from the principal’s office,” she says. She said she took the principal’s chair only to comply with the instruction of director higher education.

The management refused to accept the higher education director’s order on the ground that the social work school is a minority institution and the management reserves the right to appoint it staff.

“I too have an order in my favor from the High Court as well,” she claims. The management, she says, has suspended her from service for fighting to save it from ruin.

The management is expected to appoint a new principal on March 12 from among the shortlisted candidates.

Sehgal, however, maintains that “I know I am right and fighting a just battle, and I will win it.”

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