Another DU teacher in sexual harassment row

Mohammad Ibrar

NEW DELHI: Days after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against a Daulat Ram College teacher, a video clipping was submitted to the DU vice-chancellor’s office on Tuesday in which a third-year student of Bharati College is seen slapping a teacher for allegedly harassing her and five others.
In her complaint letter, the student has alleged that the teacher used to send her “lewd messages” and demanded that he be suspended. She told TOI that several first- and second-year students were also harassed for months by the teacher. But coming from humble backgrounds, they were scared of filing any complaint, she added. “It was then that I confronted the teacher.”The video, accessed by TOI, showed several girls surrounding the teacher, who was seen apologising before being slapped by the girl. “After a series of lewd messages, he wanted to meet me outside the college but I insisted that we meet after class hours in the college itself. I then asked the other girls to join me and we confronted him,” the student said.

Although the video was shot in September 2017, no complaint was filed then. “I did not complain because I was misled by the teacher in believing that it would leave him jobless and affect his wife and child. I took pity on him and did not act,” she said, explaining the delay.

However, she decided to circulate the video among some other students in January after getting to know that the man didn’t have any wife or child. Soon the college authorities also came to know about it and, the girl claimed, “traumatised” her not to raise the issue. “I am being threatened that I shall be suspended,” her letter pointed out.

The student also alleged that the internal complaints committee of the college was not functioning as per the UGC guidelines. A notification requesting applications for electing student representatives have been doing the round only since the video became viral, she said.

Principal Mukti Sanyal said the committee didn’t have any student representative as “earlier there was no complaint from the students. We are following the UGC guidelines”. Sanyal also said she was aware of the complaint and would discuss the matter with the VC.

National Students’ Union of India will protest on Wednesday, demanding the teacher’s suspension.

The Daulat Ram teacher, who was arrested on Monday, has been sent to judicial custody.