Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
Just a few hours after the police charged the national president of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in a case of harassment, the complainant, a 52-year-old woman, Chandra, withdrew her complaint.
In the complaint dated July 11, Chandra's nephew had accused Dr Subbiah Shanmugam, who is the chief of Surgical Oncology at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital and Government Hospital at Royapettah, of urinating and throwing COVID waste at their doorstep. She also accused him of harassing her on the phone and breaking a signboard.
The woman's family claimed that Subbiah Shanmugam apologised to her for his actions. The family further alleged that their neighbours had pressured them not to escalate the matter.
"The Apartment association too is telling my aunt that they should just talk this out. Her neighbour, who helped with evidence collection earlier has also advised her to let the case go," said Balaji Vijayaraghavan, the woman's nephew.
The police confirmed that the woman has withdrawn her complaint, The Wire reported.
An FIR had been registered against Subbiah Shanmugam, after 14 days, under Indian Penal Code sections 271 271 (Whoever knowingly disobeys any rule made and promulgated by the government) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupee) and under the Tamil Nadu Women Harassment (Prevention) Act.
The case was registered only after Chandra accused the city police of inaction.
In a Facebook post that had gone viral, Vijayaraghavan claimed that the issue began some months ago when Shanmugam had asked to temporarily use her parking slot. When he asked for a more permanent arrangement, Chandra asked for a monthly rent, which led to the matter getting escalated.
"The government doctor urinated at her doorstep and threw used mask and other muck at her place. We have CCTV footage, but the police wouldn't register an FIR. They gave only a CSR (Community Service Register) receipt. Though we had given the complaint first seeking legal action for harassment, nuisance and under the Epidemic Act, the police waited for the doctor to give a complaint and falsely made ours a counter complaint," the woman's relative said.
A CCTV camera installed on their floor reportedly recorded the incident. In the video, a man in a blue shirt can be seen urinating in front of the woman's door.
A lady gets harassed by ABVP's President @subbiah_doctor. Yet no action is taken against him. Why would an action be taken against him? He is associated with RSS-BJP. Political influence of theirs is safeguarding such criminals as they have done for others. #ShameOnABVP pic.twitter.com/ToJbFmrVyg— NSUI (@nsui) July 24, 2020
Denying all allegations, Subbiah claimed that the video has been doctored. "The video is doctored. That is not me. Someone is manipulating the situation," he said.
Talking about the dispute, he claimed that after temporarily using the parking lot, he had found another. "This is a social media trial. I never put any waste on their door or harassed my neighbour in any way," he said.
ABVP national general secretary Nidhi Tripathi has said that the Congress' student wing, NSUI was behind the complaint. "NSUI is running a malicious, derogatory propaganda against Dr Subbaiah Shanmugam with a fake video purported as harassment," she said.
Chandra's nephew Vijayaraghavan refuted AVBP's statement and said that previously they had no intentions to the issue forward. "We heard he is a fine doctor. In this pandemic, we want doctors like him to continue his service as a better human being. For that, he has to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy and continue to serve the society," he said.
He said that they only came forward after ABVP claimed that the videos were fake. "Since the organisation he belongs to had stated that the videos are fake, we decided to go public," he said.
He further claimed that the residents association of the colony had decided to escalate the issue as he has "habitually created nuisance" in the apartment.
Thank you for subscribing.
We have sent you a confirmation email.