#MeToo in IIT-R: Dalit scholar who alleged sexual harassment . by faculty members says institute told her ‘can’t act against accused professors’

Dehradun: Two Research Students Accuse Five IIT-Roorkee Professors of Sexual Harassment
Women Students Accuse at Least Five IIT-Roorkee Professors of Harassment

Dehradun: At least two research students of Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT-Roorkee)have accused five professors of the premier institute of sexual harassment, police said on Wednesday.

The women have approached the Haridwar police over the past 10 days in this regard, Haridwar SSP Ridhim Agarwal said. Two complaints were received on email and phone while one researcher lodged a formal complaint with the police last week, the SSP said.

The foreign scholar has alleged that she was sexually harassed by the professors in 2015 when she had visited the institute to deliver a lecture.

“As we do not have the number of the foreign scholar, we have sent her an email asking her to provide more details to enable us to investigate the matter. Another complainant who approached us through a telephonic message on last Sunday has not come forward to lodge a formal complaint yet,” the SSP said.

However, one of the researchers who had lodged a formal complaint with the police last week told media that her supervisor at the institute harassed her sexually and mentally.

She said when she approached the institute’s top authorities, they only replaced the supervisor with another professor, who she alleged has a reputation of harassing women. “My supervisor harassed me sexually and mentally over the past two years besides using caste slurs against me. I complained to the director and dean but they forwarded it to the women’s cell.

“The head of the women’s cell said the supervisor will be changed but no action can be taken against him,” the researcher told reporters. A three-member SIT has been formed to probe the matter, the SSP said.

A statement from the IIT-Roorkee on the foreign scholar who has levelled allegations of sexual harassment against the professors said an inquiry by the Internal Complaints Committee concluded that the complaint does not constitute any gender-based discrimination and harassment.

On the complaint lodged by a research scholar of the institute, it said the matter is being looked into