CHENNAI: A 24-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a student on the IIT-M campus nearly a week ago. The accused has been identified as Chandan Kumar, from Bihar. He was working in a juice shop at the institute.
According to an e-mail complaint dated July 26, the victim was attacked by the accused when she was on her way back to the institute hostel on a dirt road connecting the new academic complex (NAC) and hospital road inside the campus on the night of June 24.
The girl fell off the cycle and injured herself badly. “The man grabbed her and tried to sexually assault her. She screamed for help and despite there being multiple security guards near NAC, the hospital and Gajendra Circle, none came to help her,” said a police officer.
After a long struggle, she managed to fight him off and ran back, scarred and injured, with a broken cycle. “It was sheer luck that my friend managed to escape this vile encounter, which could have ended much worse. She returned to the hostel, shaking and bleeding. It was horrifying to hear of this incident, and the rest of us students feel uncertain of our safety on the premises,” the complaint read.
When the issue broke out, the students requested the IIT-M management to not provide unchecked and unsupervised access to hired labourers to student zones, including hostel and academic areas, at night.
IIT-M had initiated a probe after the student sent a complaint to the dean.
Chandan Kumar was arrested under Section 354(A) of the IPC (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 4 of the TN Women Harassment Act (Whoever commits harassment of a woman in the precincts of any educational institution).