Sanitation worker masturbates in front of student in lift, Chennai university accused of blaming ‘dirty dress’ of north Indian girls

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Over one thousand students in Chennai’s SRM University have staged protests after a hostel staff was found to have sexually harassed a girl student inside a lift. According to reports, the man in question worked as a sanitation worker in the hostel and he masturbated in front of the girl inside a lift.

Sanitation worker
Photo: Anushee Arun

The girl said that she had pressed the button for 4th floor, but the man pressed 6th floor button. However, once both were inside, the man forcibly took the lift to the 8th floor. The girl alleged that the male sanitation worker started masturbating once the both were inside the lift.

According to university officials, the man ‘ran away’ from the campus after the controversy erupted on the issue. A university spokesperson was quoted by India Today as saying that the administration was reviewing security and taking steps to ensure this is not repeated. The accused will get appropriate punishment, he said. Students, however, are angry and not convinced.

“University officials blame it on our dressing, calling it inappropriate. They do not take our complaints seriously. In the past too, there have been instances of male workers peeping into our rooms, intruding into our privacy,” a student leader was quoted by NDTV.

“The man masturbated in front of the woman student in the hostel lift, following which she reported the issue to the authorities,” the student told news agency PTI. The incident took place at around 3 pm on Thursday.

Some students alleged that the director of the university had justified the sexual harassment of the girl stating that  such “things happen to girls because they are north Indians who dress dirty, and smoke and drink.”

 

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