Protest Erupts At SRM University After Staff Masturbates In Front Of Student, Warden Shames Her
Ridhima Gupta Tamil Nadu
November 23rd, 2018 / 4:34 PM
Lights cut off and almost thousands of students out on the main campus road shouting slogans for justice; this was the scene at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Tamil Nadu’s Kancheepuram district on Thursday evening. The students were gathered to protest against the university administration for failing to take proper action on a sexual harassment case, reports say.
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According to students of SRM, yesterday, a second-year undergraduate girl student was allegedly sexually harassed by a male worker in the hostel lift. The student who resides in the girls hostel had taken the hostel elevator at around 3 pm to go to her room. When she was inside the lift, a sanitation worker who was also present inside the lift allegedly started to masturbate in front of her. When the girl tried to stop the elevator, the man reportedly stopped her way, and the girl then started screaming. When the lift opened on the 4th floor, the girl pushed the man and ran away, a student from the SRM University.
Warden blames her short clothes
Soon after this traumatising incident, the girl rushed to the warden to complain about the same. However, the warden allegedly started to blame the girl for the incident.
“The warden started to shout at the girl for wearing short clothes and said that she is aware that these girls drink and smoke,” said Dheeraj Sharma, a student of SRM University. The student further said that the warden was doing so just to threaten the girl so that she stays mum about the incident.
“This is just shocking that the warden chooses to shout at the girl who was already disturbed by the incident. However, the predator was still roaming in the college campus, and the warden did not even bother to catch him,” he said.
The student also told The Logical Indian, that the warden delayed access to the CCTV footage. “It took almost three hours to get the footage of the elevators, and till then no complaints was also registered,” he added.
After seeing the CCTV, the girl identified the man still the warden asked the girl to be quiet. “Even after the CCTV footage was out no police complaint was filed against the man. Is this the way the management should handle such serious complaints?” said the student fiercely.
As per the latest report, the warden has been suspended.
Denial by the chancellor
Above incident led to an outrage and students came out on the streets of the college around 6 pm to protest against the college administration mismanagement. According to the protestors, Vice Chancellor Sandeep Sancheti arrived at the college campus around 9 pm in the night. He then had a meeting with the girls living in the hostel.
“I don’t know how Vice-Chancellor of such a big university be so unempathetic towards such a serious issue. In the meeting, while the students were demanding steady and strict action, the Chancellor told one of the girls to not make an issue out of nothing,” lamented the student.
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However, the Vice-Chancellor has denied all the allegations of misconduct from the side of the university management. He said that the administration would look into the complaint. “Students are discussing with us. Whatever the matter is, it will be taken care of. If there is a matter, it will be inquired,” he said, as reported by the NDTV.
The protest at the SRM university continued till midnight. The protestors finally dispersed after the university assured that it will take action. “The university told us that a separate committee would be constituted to investigate the matter,” said an SRM student.
A case has been registered against 26-year-old Arjun who was accused of sexually harassing the student and he has been arrested. According to the Maraimalai Nagar police station’s officer, the complaint was filed against the accused by the hostel warden. Soon after which an FIR was registered under sections 294(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place) and 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and we will be reminding him immediately, as reported by The News Minute. The logical Indian tried to reach out to the Maraimalai Nagar police station, however, a response was denied to us.
Another issue of exam getting postpone
According to the students, their semester exams are going on, and their last exam was scheduled to be on Thursday, but due to the unprecedented rains in the city, the exams got postponed to Friday. However, this did not go well with a lot of students. Students claim that many of them had booked their flight and train tickets to leave home after their exams were supposed to get over.
“This is not the first time the university has done it quite a few times. We are students, and flights and train tickets are a huge expense for many of us, we can not just do away with it, and that is why many students were protesting against the management since Thursday morning. However after the sexual harassment case came up the university authority quickly made changes in their exam proposal,” told the student to us.
According to the NDTV, the police officer have indicated that the sexual harassment case seems to be a “ploy” to get the exams cancelled. However, the students have completely denied such claims.
“We are not sure if these claims were made but if they are, then it is a shameful act, as the two issues are different thought important at the same time but cannot be interconnected. If the management is saying it was a ‘ploy’ then it is just to divert from the main issue, said the SRM student.
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Edited by : Bharat Nayak