The research scholar at St Stephen’s College, who had accused her PhD guide of molesting her and Principal Valson Thampu of trying to cover up the incident, has lodged a complaint alleging “intimidation, forceful confinement” and “sabotage or theft” of research material.
This comes a day after the college filed a complaint against Devansh Mehta — the student who was suspended by Thampu for publishing an e-zine without his permission — for “vandalism and criminal trespassing”.
Mehta had accompanied the student to the college on Thursday, so that the latter could purportedly check on her research material and the status of her stipend, which she claims has been blocked since December 2014 by the accused Satish Kumar.
In her complaint, filed late on Thursday, she claimed that her research material was missing and her stipend cheque had “stop payment” written on it.
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Giving his version of the events, Mehta told a press conference on Friday, “We were not allowed to enter the laboratory and when we finally managed to get in, we were locked in. I was manhandled and false accusations were levied on the victim, claiming that she had broken a fibre optical cable worth Rs 5 lakh.
“But once the police arrived, we thought everything would be resolved. We were shocked to find that a police complaint had been lodged against us, so we had to do something,” he said.
Ashish Joshi from the Association of Old Stephanians and Kavita Krishnan, secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association, who were present at the conference, also questioned the “silence” of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and DU Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh.
They also raised questions on why the accused had not been arrested and no charges had been pressed against Thampu.
“Despite bodies like the MHRD and NCW being present in Delhi, we are concerned that no action has been taken so far. Thampu, instead of acting like a custodian, seems to be on a destructive mode. We want the MHRD to give directions to the UGC to constitute a fact-finding team,” said Joshi.
Criticising the DU’s alleged inaction, Krishnan said, “Why has DU not given the scholar a new supervisor yet?”
St Stephen’s Media Advisor Karen Gabriel, however, claimed that due process had to be followed in the case.
“We had done our investigation scrupulously and now the matter is in court. In my opinion, it is foolhardy and dangerous to try and bypass due process,” she said.