Chennai: Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit Tuesday rejected allegations linking him to a woman assistant professor arrested for allegedly persuading students into extending sexual favours to officials.

“I don’t know the lady. Strict action will be taken if someone is found guilty," Purohit said, calling all allegations baseless.

He added: “I’m 78 and have grandchildren and great grandchildren. You can’t ask me such questions."

Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor at a private college under Madurai Kamaraj University was arrested on Monday after an audio tape of her encouraging students to please higher officials in return for marks and money became public.

Political parties have alleged the involvement of governor Purohit. In the audio clip, the assistant professor claims to know the governor, who is the chancellor of the university.

CPM state secretary K. Balakrishnan urged the Centre to recall the governor to ensure a free and fair probe. He also demanded that the vice-chancellors and other authorities appointed by the governor be kept away from office.

The assistant professor has been remanded in judicial custody till 28 April.

The governor has asked retired IAS officer R. Santhanam to submit a report on the issue by 30 April. On a question on whether a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe should be ordered since there is a mention of the governor himself in the audio clip, he said it can be decided only after the report is submitted.

Opposition leader M.K. Stalin said only the vice-chancellor of a university acts as the head and could address issues of staff and students of colleges affiliated to it and not the Governor, who is also its chancellor.

“Therefore, he (V-C) alone can take action on the issue. But, one can’t understand how the Chancellor of the varsity, which is the Governor, could initiate action in this regard," Stalin said on Tuesday.

Stalin pressed for a court-monitored CBI probe into the matter.

On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu director general of police T.K. Rajendran transferred the case registered by the Aruppukkottai police to the Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID).

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