CHENNAI: Following Express report on the alleged sexual harassment of girl students of Madras Christian College by their professor during a department trip, the institution has initiated an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) probe. This move has been welcomed by students, who are happy the management has finally woken up to the situation.
“We have passed on the matter to the ICC and met with representatives of the Zoology department on Thursday morning to inform them about this development,” said A Duraisamy, principal-in-charge.
It is learnt that the ICC will conform to UGC norms and will be headed by a senior female faculty member and will begin its hearings shortly.”The victims should use this opportunity to voice their grievances so the committee can ensure the college is a safe environment for women,” said a former ICC member, assuring utmost confidentiality in the hearing process.
Alumni speak up
While it was unclear whether the professor in question, had prior allegations of sexual harassment, Express’ story triggered a series of allegations from alumni of the Zoology department, some of which are two decades old.
“We had complained to our head of department when our juniors told us this professor had harassed them during the department trip and the disciplinary action taken against him. Even I had faced harassment by him but our class boys were very protective so he wasn’t able to trouble us,” said Bridget Mary, a student of the Department of Zoology (vocational stream) between 1997 and 2000, who wanted to go on record. Another woman student from the 2006-2009 batch, also reached out with allegations of harassment. “Back then we (I) didn’t have the guts to speak up. I am happy that now girls are speaking up. He is not fit to be a professor,” the victim said.
Students in the Zoology department were overwhelmed by the allegations. “Our Head of the Department had told us that we had filed the first complaint against this professor. Repeat offenders should not be spared,” a representative said, warning of protests if the management backtracks on its promises.