Varsity lets go culprits scot-free

Recommendations of harassment complaints panel not acted upon

The Committee constituted in 2005 has so far inquired into about 25 cases and recommended action against 14 persons. The vice-chancellor, however, is yet to present the recommendations before the Syndicate for further action. Yashodhara, the chairperson of the committee since February 2009 told Deccan Herald that the VC was yet to reply to the query on the inaction.

The ‘toothless’ committee is virtually unheard of in the student community as well. The victim in this case preferred ‘other means’ rather than to write to the committee. “The committee is almost non-existent. We know the fate of previous cases where culprits have gone scot-free,” a close confidante of the research scholar said.

It is a travesty of times that the University set up by the Wadiyars in 1917, who placed great emphasis on women empowerment has done little or nothing to safeguard the interests of its women students.

Commissioner of Police Sunil Agarwal who visited the victim Sarita in the hospital said the police were investigating into the matter. “Sexual harassment is a cognisable and non-bailable offence. This may even lead to the arrest of the accused,” Agarwal said.

VC plays caste card

Meanwhile, in a statement to the press, vice-chancellor Prof V G Talawar said the incident was being “blown out of proportion” with the sole intention of defaming him since he belonged to Scheduled Caste.

He said though he had assured his “best help” to the scholar and attempts were underway to rehabilitate her academically, she and her husband accused him of nepotism and berated his caste.

“The lady and her husband came to my chamber on Saturday morning and spoke to me in raised voice demanding action against the professor. I told them action could be taken only under certain rules and regulations of the University,” he added.

It was a day of protests at the University of Mysore with various organisations and students taking out rallies raising slogans against the authorities.

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