PEC prof accuses deputy director of sexual harassment

Complaint submitted in Sept 2012,FIR lodged on Thursday.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: December 7, 2013 1:20 am

An associate professor of PEC University of Technology has accused the varsity deputy director of persistent sexual harassment since 2008,and a former director and the Chandigarh Police of inaction on her complaint.

Belatedly,on her complaint submitted at the public window at the city police headquarters in September 2012,the Chandigarh Police lodged an FIR at Sector 11 police station on Thursday.

Named in the FIR are Dr A M Kalra, a professor at the Civil Engineering Department who is also the deputy director,and former director Dr Manoj Datta,who retired in May and now lives in Delhi.

They have been accused of use of criminal force with an intent to outrage a woman’s modesty,defamation,and use of word,gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.

Asked why it took so long to register the FIR,DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor said,“I will get it checked as to what action was taken on the complaint. We will question the accused soon.”

In her complaint,the victim alleged that since 2008 she had been continuously harassed by Kalra who used for her words which were “vulgar,obscene,sexually coloured,offensive and defamatory’’ in the presence of her colleagues.

The woman said that Kalra often sent out feelers that he wanted to meet her in her personal chamber for reading her horoscope. When she objected,Kalra allegedly threatened to create trouble in her professional career. In February 2013,Kalra even threatened to dismiss her from service,the woman said.

Kalra could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.

The woman said she first submitted a complaint of harassment against Kalra to the then director Manoj Datta on February 9,2010. She forwarded copies of the complaint to the Women’s Cell of PEC and to the National Commission for Women (NCW). The varsity Women’s Cell did respond while the NCW advised her to contact “the appropriate authority’’.

She said she also approached the Education Secretary and visited the public grievances forum,organised by the Governor as administrator of the UT,but to no effect.

Former director Datta told her “not to press the complaint”,nor approach other authorities,said the woman. Further,the university placed her under suspension,which was revoked after seven months,and her increment was stopped,she alleged.

Datta could not be contacted.

A university spokesperson,however,said,“Since the case does not involve the present director and the complainant did not approach us directly,the university will not comment on it.’’

Director Manoj Arora’s phone was switched off.

Now that an FIR has been lodged,the woman said,“It will be a tough fight,but I hope that justice would be delivered in the end. I would like to thank IG R P Upadhyaya who was the only police officer to hear my complaint and order action.”

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