The Banaras Hindu University on Sunday sent a professor accused of sexual harassment on a long leave and said the complaints against him will be referred back to the institute’s executive council, Hindustan Times reported. This came after a large group of students began protests on the campus on Saturday night following his reinstatement.

Professor SK Chaubey of the Zoology department was suspended in October 2018 after some women students of his department accused him of sexual misconduct. He was accused of making vulgar comments and obscene gestures at women while accompanying them to a study tour to Odisha last year.

In June, the BHU Executive Council revoked Chaubey’s suspension, but barred him from taking classes and censured him. However, Chaubey reportedly returned to taking classes a few days ago.

The university’s Public Relations Officer Rajesh Singh said the matter was reconsidered. “It has been decided by the university authorities to refer it [complaints against Chaubey] back to the executive council for a review of its [earlier] decision and till that time Prof Shail Kumar Chaube has been directed to proceed on a long leave,” Singh was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Chaubey has refuted the allegations against him. “All allegations made against me are false,” he said. “These charges were levelled by a few people envious of my progress. Along with me, three other professors, two lab attendants and a guardian also accompanied the students during the tour. I only delivered my duty as a teacher and a guardian of the students to ensure the success of the academic tour.”

The students had stopped their protests on Sunday, and submitted an eight-point memorandum to the university administration. They asked the officials to remove Chaubey and register a first information report against him.

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