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PhD student accuses GU women cell chief of protecting ex-faculty in harassment case

In a letter sent to Gandhi on April 15, Parekh questioned the way WDC chairperson has begun the probe.

Written by Syed Khalique Ahmed | Ahmedabad | Updated: April 17, 2015 4:24:05 am
Gujarat University In a letter sent to Gandhi on April 15, Parekh questioned the way WDC chairperson has begun the probe.

Chairperson of the Women Development Cell (WDC) of the Gujarat University (GU) — Savita Gandhi — has been accused of protecting former Science faculty dean Baldev Patel in a case pertaining to harassment of a girl student.

Neha Parekh, doing PhD in Chemistry, had, a fortnight ago, accused Patel of allegedly “misbehaving” with her in presence of her father and Vice-Chancellor M N Patel.

Parekh, who had written to WDC besides Gujarat State Commission for Women (GSCW) seeking action in the matter, has now threatened to initiate legal action against Patel if WDC does not take action against Patel.

In a letter sent to Gandhi on April 15, Parekh questioned the way WDC chairperson has begun the probe.

“Moreover, you sent me a letter dated April 13, 2015, asking me to record my statement before you  at 11 am the same day,” she pointed in her letter.

“Please think how is it possible for me to reach your office the same day you sent me the letter?” Parekh said in her letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express.

Levelling allegations of protecting Patel, she said, “From the language of your letter, I suspect you are trying to protect Baldev Patel and punish me instead.”

“I am not an accused but a complainant. I have already sent my complaint in writing to you. So, you need not take my statement first but that of Patel. You should ask for my statement afterwards if it was needed at all,” she stated in her letter. She has asked Gandhi to “inform me in writing as what action you have taken on my complaint so that I communicate the same to the GSCW”. “If you don’t initiate action against Patel, then I will be compelled to initiate legal action in the matter,” Parekh threatened WDC official.

When contacted, Gandhi claimed, “The letter was delivered to Parekh at her residence on April 12, and not on April 13.” She refused to talk anything else about the issue, saying the “issue is very sensitive”.

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