St Stephen’s College landed itself in another controversy on Thursday with the research scholar, who was allegedly molested by a college professor, claiming that she was locked inside the college’s chemistry laboratory by students of the accused. The college, however, registered a complaint against the scholar’s “associate” Devansh Mehta for “vandalism and criminal trespass”.
“Mr Devansh Mehta along with another person tried to forcefully snatch away the keys of the laboratory…. and forcefully barged into the lab… and tried to remove documents and materials from the lab. Mehta got into a scuffle with the researchers when they tried to stop him. We request the police to take serious note of this criminal incident and take necessary action under the law after thorough investigation” the college complaint to police stated.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Madhur Verma, however, said that there was no vandalism incident. “There was a scuffle between two groups of the same college, but no FIR has been registered so far,” he added.
On Thursday, the research scholar supposedly went to the college to enquire about her stipend money and to check on the compound she had been working on in the lab. She was accompanied by Mehta, who had dragged Principal Valson Thampu to court for suspending him for the publication of an e-zine without Thampu’s approval.
“I was accompanying her because she was assaulted in that very lab and she just wanted me to go along with her for safety. But as soon as we reached, we were locked inside the lab by a student at the behest of Satish Kumar, following which I called the police,” said Mehta.
The research scholar was subsequently also allegedly blamed for breaking equipment in the lab worth Rs 5 lakh. “The locking incident occurred in the afternoon but the complaint about the damage to the equipment came at 6 pm from those very people who locked us in. Why did they keep quiet for so many hours?” said Mehta.
Thampu, however termed the whole case as a “constructed controversy”. “This is another constructed controversy. I had personally handed over the stipend cheque to her in December, the cheque in question today is for the next six months, which has not been issued as the documents need her PhD guide’s signature and he is not available as I had ‘advised’ him not to visit college,” he said.