From January this year,four cases of sexual harassment (eve teasing) were reported from the Panjab University campus,of which three have been reported in the last three months. While,the University authorities claimed prompt action at their level by directing them to the University security or the police,none of these were taken to the concerned committee constituted for the purpose or even the issue discussed at the committee after these cases.
When contacted,the chairperson of Panjab Universitys Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee who is also the Dean Students Welfare (Women) Prof Kalpana Mahajan said,As per the guidelines,the committee can only act when it receives a formal written complaint in the form of an affidavit. And since,none of the complainants in these cases submitted it to the committee,these were not dealt by it.
Further,justifying the role of the committee,she added,Also,sexual harassment is different from even teasing as unlike eve teasing,in sexual harassment the victim knows the accused. We had been very prompt in these four cases by alerting the security and police without wasting any time.
Though she further added that recently the university authorities had held meetings with the University security after increasing incidents of sexual harassment were reported on the campus and deployed additional security around the girls hostels,the committee had hardly taken notice of these cases.
On the University securitys role in these cases,Chief Security Officer P K Dhawan said,Before handing over all these cases of sexual harassment to the police,these were initially dealt by the University security who were either alerted by the complainant or the authorities.