After conducting its own investigation in the Sherubtse Harassment case, the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) has suspended the assistant lecturer Dorji Phuntsho, and handed his case over to the police.
The RUB Vice Chancellor Nidup Dorji said, “We have handed over the case to the Trashigang Police for further investigation and he has been suspended since last Friday (5 November).”
The VC said that the RUB team sent from Thimphu could gather evidence in three cases. He said there is evidence that the lecturer engaged in a chat with two girls and one of them is quite serious. He said the third girl is one who was body shamed and there are witnesses where the assistant lecturer engaged in persistent body shaming of the student.
The VC said that copies of the chat history have been handed over to the RBP and they will look into it.
On the allegation of the other seven over complaints of lowers marks the RUB team went by the Sherubtse College assertion that they could not find much basis.
The suspension of the lecturer means that he will not be allowed to attend college and take classes, but it also does not mean that he will be terminated.
The investigation committee of the RUB sent from Thimphu by the VC was headed by an officer who looks after student services and comprised of a legal officer, Chief HRO and a lady HRO officer.
Assistant lecturer Dorji Phuntsho only faced withholding of promotion by three years despite being accused of harassment by 10 female students.
The lecturer asked girls to go on late night car rides, made inappropriate comments, engaged in body shaming and also carried on the harassment in class according to the girls. They also alleged that the marks were not given in a fair manner and he did not conduct himself professionally in class.
One of the girls had suicidal thoughts while another had panic attacks and many of them avoided his class.
Subsequently, a former student from College of Language and Culture Studies (CLCS) in Taktse also alleged the same against the assistant lecturer and she had a chat history that showed the lecturer accepting he dated and kissed a student there.
An allegation also came up against the lecturer while he was a history teacher at Paro Yozerling Higher Secondary school.
The lecturer completely denied the CLCS and Paro case while saying that he meant a group car ride in Sherubtse though the messages clearly shows him meaning a solo ride late at night.