St.Stephen’s administration queried on sexual harassment case

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The administeration and internal probe committee of Delhi University’s coveted St.Stephen’s College were questioned on Saturday over a sexual harassment case filed by a research student, police said.

The officer said a police team approached the college administration on Saturday morning and inquired about the matter as the victim had already filed a complaint with the college’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in February.

The development came a day after an FIR was lodged in the case.

A police officer privy to the investigation told IANS that the case against the bursar of the college, Satish Kumar, was being handled very carefully keeping the college’s reputation in mind.

“We have got information from the ICC members. We also contacted the college principal Valson Thampu and the bursar to get their versions,” the officer said.

In the FIR, the complainant said that Kumar “sexually assaulted” her in October 2013 inside a laboratory. As per the complaint, Kumar also followed the victim to a metro station close to the college when she fled after freeing herself from him.

The victim also alleged that she was first harassed in May 2013 in the same laboratory. She said that it continued despite her refusals. In her complaint, she also said that Kumar stopped guiding her in her research and kept a watch on her social media accounts.

On the victim’s allegation, police registered a case on different charges including stalking and sexual harassment.

The officer added they would record the victim’s statement before the magistrate Saturday afternoon.

“As the matter is very serious and can hamper the college’s reputation, we cannot share details of our investigation,” the official said.

The complainant had also accused Thampu of siding with the accused.

St.Stephen’s said in a statement on Friday that it was uncompromisingly committed to the safety and dignity of women on the campus and that no effort will be spared to ensure that justice is done.

“…the complaint was duly and promptly forwarded by the principal to the ICC and an inquiry, following proper procedure, is underway. The said inquiry is nearing completion,” it said.

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