In significant development, the newly appointed chief of DCW, Swati Maliwal, has summoned the St. Stephen’s Principal Valsom Thampu and the professor, Satish Kumar, accused of molesting a student to appear before the commission on August 19.
The victim, a research scholar, too has been asked been asked to meet the commission as ‘the women’s commission is very keen’ to hear her side of the story.
Maliwal said that making education institutions in Delhi safer for students was her priority and she was concerned about sexual harassment in universities and colleges.
Sexual harassment in universities and colleges is a v serious issue. Will work towards making educational institutions safer for students
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) August 11, 2015
A close source to Maliwal, told www.jantakareporter.com that she was determined to provide justice to the victims of sexual harassment in a timliness fashion and therefore ‘very keen to expedite St. Stephen’s case.’
The victim had alleged that she was molested by an assistant professor in the college’s Chemistry department. The accused , who was supervising her PhD work, had also allegedly threatened to pour sulphuric acid on her.
The complainant says she approached the principal but Thampu tried to shield Kumar and “pressurised her to not treat the issue as that of sexual harassment.”
To support her argument, the victim had also furnished a set of recording of her conversation with Thampu.
The research scholar had submitted four recordings with the police last week that she claimed to have made during her meetings with the principal. In the recordings, Thampu is allegedly heard pressurising the student to withdraw her complaint.
“Trust god, trust me. You have to take that complaint back. Do it today… or there will be complications. It will be out of my hands,” Thampu is heard saying in the recordings.
The principal is also heard telling the student, “Be a happy person, you are a young girl, you need to be happy. You should focus on completing your PhD thesis and withdraw the complaint or there will be complications.”
Thampu had later posted on Facebook saying the recordings were ‘mischievously edited’.