LAHORE – An Islamabad-based college professor, who was accused of sexually harassing female students earlier this, was removed from his post by the ombudsperson against harassment of women at workplace Kashmala Tariq on Monday.
Sadat Bashir, a teacher at Islamabad Model College for Boys in H-9 sector of Islamabad, came under investigation in May this year after a girl accused him of groping her twice during a practical exam at Bahria College. Later, as many as 80 students of the college came out on social media accusing Bashir of unwanted advances.
The ombudsperson issued the orders of Bashir’s removal after 20 female and three male students confirmed the allegations of sexual harassement.
“The professor’s contract with the varsity is to be terminated, and a fine of Rs200,000 is to be imposed on him,” the order said, adding that the practical examination of this batch is also to be retaken.
The statement further said, “The biology department’s head will be issued a disciplinary warning letter, and Inspector-General police Islamabad must form an investigation team for legal action [against the accused].”
In June, an inquiry report backed the claims against Prof Saadat Bashir. The Federal Directorate of Colleges has submitted an inquiry report to the Capital Administration and Development Division that states that Bashir was guilty of harassing students.
The two-member committee found in its report that the accusations against the professor were true and stated that the students had provided evidence of his harassment.
According to the report, Bashir used to ask students for their phone numbers to establish ‘friendships’ with them. It also stated that he used to barter higher grades in exams for phone numbers.
Apart from the criminal proceedings against him, Bashir stands to lose his job and all the benefits granted to him as a professor.
One of the victims, Saba Ali was the first girl who took to the social media to share her ordeal in May this year.
The student of HSC Part 2, who had gone to Bahria College for her Biology practical, wrote on Facebook: “I am still completely shook that we had to go through this. Approximately 80 girls were sexually harassed that day and our teacher told us to keep quite because she didn’t want us to lose marks!
“Sadat Bashir scarred us for life and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Following her suit, nearly two dozen survivors and girl rights activists launched a massive campaign, #PunishSadatBashir, on social media.
A shocking number of 3,445 children were sexually abused in Pakistan in 2017, according to NGO Sahil’s annual report.
The report says 2,077 girls and 1,368 boys have been survivors of sexual exploitation; nine children were abused daily.