Published: 17th April 2018
I have great-grandchildren: How TN Guv indignantly denied knowing tainted prof Nirmala Devi
The TN Governor imperiously maintained that he had nothing to do with the now-tainted professor, who was arrested for her role in trying to get students to agree to a sex-for-marks deal
In an unprecedented turn of events, a sitting Governor decided to speak out against the allegations against him - allegations that stemmed off a stray reference in a recorded call that went viral on WhatsApp. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has said that he has never even seen suspended professor Nirmala Devi who has been arrested on charges of luring four of her girl students to extend sexual favours to senior education officials of Madurai Kamaraj University.
"I have not even seen her face... I have grand children and great grandchildren... I am 70-80 years old.." Purohit said animatedly in a press meet today at Raj Bhavan in Chennai. The governor has appointed a retired IAS officer to enquire into the issue. Maintaining his innocence in the issue, he added, "Did you hear the audio? She even refers me as grand father.." Purohit said.
Other reports suggested that he brushed it off as a regular occurrence, given how many functions he attends in his line of work, "I attend so many convocations. Almost most of the members are on the dias. They move here and there. What can I do? I have not seen her face till date. What you are talking?" he asks. "I am surrounded by my entire team. Even a bird can't come near me without my permission. (You) Can't level such vague charges against me," another report quoted him as saying.
Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor in a private college in Aruppukottai in Tamil Nadu was arrested on Monday after a recording of a telephone conversation she had with her four students went viral. Nirmala Devi was seen luring the girl students to extend sexual favours to certain senior officials and in turn promised the students support both "academically and financially."
To repeated questions on whether he can order a probe while he is named in the telephone conversation, he did not give a direct answer. "I have lived my entire life (in a) transparent (manner)," he said. On questions about if people would believe it to be a fair probe if the committee is going to report to him, he said, "Everybody expects (it)."
To questions about why he is giving a press conference today, when he had remained silent during the Cauvery and other raging issues, Purohit said the press conference is only to mark his completion of six months as governor of Tamil Nadu. But he did not explain why the Madurai Kamarajar University Vice chancellor P P Chellathurai was also present with him during the press conference.