St. Stephen's Sexual Harassment Row: Thampu Denies Protecting Accused
NEW DELHI: As the molestation charge rocks St. Stephen’s, college principal Valson Thampu on Saturday confirmed that the victim had raised the complaint with him, but denied the allegations of trying to protect Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the chemistry department.
“I have nothing to say on what the police have done in this matter because every citizen has the right to have recourse to law to defend one’s rights and to secure justice for oneself. And I am always on the side of those who seek justice and those who are aggrieved,” Thampu told ANI here.
“But I do have something to say on the baseless allegation levelled against the college and (against) me in particular that I prevented this complaint from being filed. The fact of the matter is that I am the one who filed the complaint. It is not the complainant who took it to the internal complaints committee, I am the one who did it,” he added.
The victim’s lawyer, Anju Rani, has said that they have enough evidence to prove this case before the court.
"We will present it (evidence) before the court. We have, if not direct, a lot of indirect and sufficient amount of evidence to build our case and prove it also," she said.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Barkha Shukla Singh has condemned the incident and called for swift action against the guilty.
"St. Stephen's College is a very prestigious institution and if such an incident happens within its walls, it is a matter of shame. The incident should be investigated thoroughly and strict action should be taken against the culprit," she said.
Meanwhile, Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) president Nandita Narain has said that the accused should have been asked to step down for a fair probe.
"The university should have stepped in because this is actually a university research student, who was assigned a college professor; it should have assigned another professor or at least he should not have been guiding the research until the matter was cleared, seeing that there was further harassment - that is the allegation- and particularly of a serious matter that of the stipend being stopped," Narain said.
The student, who is doing her PhD under the supervision of Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the college's chemistry department, has lodged an FIR against him alleging that she was sexually assaulted by him. She has alleged that Thampu tried to protect him when the matter was reported.