MIT‘s dalit girl student refuses to withdraw case

Priti Nath Jha, TNN Dec 7, 2013,
MUZAFFARPUR: The Dalit student of MIT, Shomna Sagar, on Friday refused to withdraw the case against eight girl students and the hostel warden as the college authorities failed to give a written guarantee to the police for her protection on the campus. Sagar lodged the case under various sections of IPC and SC and ST (Protection of Atrocities) Act when she was denied a bed in the three-seat room of the girls hostel by her batchmates.

The officiating principal of MIT, P C Gupta, called her father, Shankar Paswan, on Friday for “counseling”. A three-member committee of the college tried to persuade Paswan to withdraw the case for the sake of restoring peace on the campus. But when Paswan wanted a guarantee of his daughter’s protection and its intimation to the police, the meeting ended in deadlock. The MIT principal, Kumar Surendra, presently in Patna, said the girl’s father had been called to help the college run in a peaceful manner. He refused to acknowledge that the invitation letter contained any objectionable comment on the girl’s character. But the girl’s father claimed that through the letter, the college administration had blamed his daughter’s character. He admitted that a Dalit student was helping his daughter seek justice for the torture she has suffered.

Sagar informed that she is living in the same room which was allotted to her initially. The two other girls who stayed in the same room have already shifted to another room and hence she feels that girls of other communities have not yet relented over the caste issue. She reiterated that so long the college does not give a written guarantee on her protection, she will not withdraw the case.

Her father said the college authorities and some students warned his daughter repeatedly to withdraw the case or face consequences. “Any pressure would have no result so long a guarantee letter is not issued to the police by the college administration,” he added.

Forty five girls have written to the college that they are not ready to share room with Sagar. While the college administration is in a fix, DM Anupam Kumar spoke to the girl’s father on Friday evening and to the principal on Saturday for thrashing out the problem. SSP Saurabh Kumar, meanwhile, said the case was under investigation.


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