Dalit academic alleges assault, molestation; FIR names 2 faculty, 2 students: BHU

The complainant is a senior faculty member, reportedly alleged that the accused, including the two colleagues from her department, “regularly talked about stripping her and making her do rounds of the university”.

The Varanasi Police have, in a story in The Indian Express, filed a case based on a complaint from a Dalit assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) that she was assaulted, molested and humiliated in her department by two colleagues, including a woman, and two students.

The professor has alleged that although the incident took place on May 22, the police refused to lodge the case until August 27. The police said the case was lodged against the four accused — including two assistant professors — after a preliminary probe was conducted.

The complainant – a senior faculty member –  has also alleged that the accused, including the two colleagues from her department, “regularly talked about stripping her and making her do rounds of the university”.

“In continuation to this, on May 22 around 2 pm, one of them came to my chamber and said that he will get me removed from my post and kill me. I came out of my chamber and then the other accused shut the door of the department. One of the men held me and tried to do inappropriate things with me after tearing my clothes. The other one recorded it. The others kicked and punched me,” she said in her complaint to police. “Some people came after I shouted and rescued me. I am attaching CCTV footage along with this complaint.”

On Wednesday, August 30, she told The Indian Express, “I am being targeted because I am Dalit. The whole issue is over my refusal to remove someone from his post. They were putting pressure on me and I refused. Then they did this.”

“I lodged several complaints at the police station and to other officials concerned. The FIR was lodged only after I wrote to the HRD Ministry, SC and ST Commission, and the Chief Minister’s Office,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner of Police Praveen Kumar Singh however, told the media, “The FIR was lodged after a preliminary probe as per CrPC provisions. The case is being investigated.”

Notably, the BHU Public Relations Officer Rajesh Singh said that action will be taken according to procedure. “The case is with the police now, so they will investigate. We will follow all procedures,” he told The Indian Express.

The BHU Vice-Chancellor Sudhir K Jain did not respond to calls and text messages for his response.

The FIR against the four was lodged under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and under various provisions of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Contradicting the complainant, when contacted, one of the accused assistant professors told The Indian Express: “The allegations are made up and baseless. She has lodged similar complaints against others too… She has her personal motives and that is why she is doing this. Had a proper probe been done before the FIR was lodged, it wouldn’t have reached this stage.”


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