College teacher 'lures' girl students, suspended

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46-year-old Nirmala Devi of Devanga Arts College was arrested this morning, less than 24 hours after the matter became public. Philosophy professor Kerry Cronin told her students to ask someone out on a date, where it didn't involve alcohol or physical contact.

After the allegations, the local police literally broke into the house and arrested her in the evening on Monday.

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The college, which was informed about the matter almost a month ago by the students, approached the police yesterday only after an audio clip of the teacher's conversation with students was widely shared on social media. Addressing the pupil on the other end as "kanna", she says that till now, under teacher-students relationship, she has supported them academically. She was also booked under Section 65 of the Information Technology Act.

"There have been widespread reports in the press and social media about certain immoral happenings in a college in Aruppukottai, in which references to Madurai Kamaraj University have also been made", he said. "I am hearing about such an incident only now from you". Madurai Kamraj University Vice Chancellor, Selladurai met with Governor to apprise him of the situation. When the girls tell her not to talk about this again, Ms. Nirmala Devi seeks an assurance from them that they will not reveal about the conversation to anyone.

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A senior police officer privy to Devi's questioning said she admitted that the voice in the audio clip was hers. Because they are high ranking officials of the university. "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. An official of the college said she was suspended after they received a complaint from students on March 19. "We demand an impartial probe into the issue to bring out all those powerful people behind the assistant professor", she said. The girl students were shocked that their professor was suddenly talking like a pander. DMK working president and CPI (M) state secretary K Balakrishnan sought a Madras High Court-monitored probe.

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