Punjab Univ Scholar Approaches Women’s Panel In Harassment Case
After getting expelled from Punjab University, a 27-year-old PhD scholar, who had alleged sexual harassment against a man, has now written to the National Commission of Women, seeking an inquiry in the case. The scholar has also claimed in the letter that the university authorities, headed by Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover, have “ignored” her complaints and were “biased” against her.
Recently, the varsity had expelled the woman on the basis of lodging a “false complaint of sexual harassment” against the son of Dean of Students Welfare (Women) Neena Caplash.
The incident took place on January 7 this year when the scholar alleges that she along with a friend’s relative were riding on a scooty to drop the relative at the Faculty Guest House. While they were together, the DSW’s son followed them and passed lewd comments about them. After the scholar had dropped the relative, the DSW’s son again followed her. As she tried to speed away, he hit her with his Ford Endeavor and said, “Nikaal Di Teri Hekadi (Killed your ego),” reported Hindustan Times.
After this, the women reported the matter to Grover, who forwarded it to the Punjab University Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) in February. When the issue was raised in the committee, the V-C made a comment, saying the complaint is false.
The woman also claimed in her letter to the V-C that the DSW had deceitfully signed a paper and asked the V-C to get an FIR registered in the case against the official and her son.
“I have filed an RTI request to see the contents of the copy but not been provided yet,” said the student, reported Indian Express.
The student did not appear before the committee meeting, saying the V-C has already branded her complaint false. And the relative of her friend, who was with her during the incident, alleged that the DSW had falsely got the student to sign a reconciliation statement.
On April 25, PUCASH dismissed the complaint as false and malicious. It said that the girl did not appear to make any statement.
Apart from the university complaint, the student had also registered an FIR at the police station on February 15 but it does not include any action of sexual harassment but mentions rash driving and causing hurt to others under sections 279 and 337 of the IPC. The police also said that the accused did not even have valid driving license.
The student says that she did mention sexual harassment and lewd comments in the complaint with the Police Station House Officer of Sector 11 police station Inspector Lakhbir Singh. But Singh said they had not found enough evidence to proceed with the sexual harassment charges.
However, the student’s guide, PU Senator Jagdish Chander Mehta feels that the case should not have gone to PUCASH as the accused is not a student or an employee of PU.
“It is a very serious issue and the student is being victimized by the university. Even I had been told by the V-C to disown the student. They have not even sought my comments as a supervisor,” he said.