St Stephen's sends report on sexual harassment

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Wednesday questioned St Stephen’s College principal Valson Thampu on the proceedings initiated by him over a woman research student’s allegation of sexual harassment by a professor.

By evening, Thampu sent his report to the commission and the Delhi University. A college official, who did not reveal the content of the action taken report, said, “The commission and the university authorities have been given the details.” He said the university will pass on the report to the Union HRD Ministry, which had also sought details of the incident.

Earlier, calling the incident “shameful”, DCW Chairperson Barkha Singh wrote to Thampu on Wednesday asking him so send a report on the action taken so far in the matter to “give justice to the suffering student of your college”.

“It is our bounden duty to ensure that such aggrieved women get justice in time,” she added. “I sincerely hope that you will kindly apprise me about the necessary action taken in this regard by the college authorities under your kind control, at the earliest,” she added.

Singh said she was personally shocked by the alleged harassment of the PhD student by her own thesis supervisor. “I, in my capacity of the chairperson of Delhi Commission of Women, would like to know as to what prompt action has been initiated by the college,” she said. The student had also accused Thampu of trying to protect the professor. The student got her statement recorded before a metropolitan magistrate.

Police said the student’s parents approached Thampu to take action against the professor in December last. However, the principal warned the student that taking up the issue would lead to a delay in completion of her PhD. The student also claimed Thampu asked her parents that instead of going to police they should approach DU’s grievance redressal cell.

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