The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) Wednesday condemned the university’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for giving a clean chit to Professor Atul Johri, who has been accused of sexual harassment by eight women students.
On January 9, The Indian Express reported that the ICC had said Johri posed no threat to the complainants, and suggested that he may need protection as he was threatened by them.
Stating that they will protest outside the ICC office Thursday, JNUSU president N Sai Balaji claimed: “Our criticism of the ICC is consistently being proved right… From day one, the V-C has been trying to protect Johri. It was only after continuous protests and pressure from the Delhi High Court that the V-C was forced to form a committee through the ICC, where they tried to use every mechanism to try and divert the enquiry process. (This report) sets a dangerous precedent for the whole gender justice movement. We stand with the complainants.”
Srabani Chakraborty, member of the erstwhile Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment, said: “If it was an institution like GSCASH (probing the case), when there were multiple complainants, certainly some weightage would have been given to their testimonies.”
“There are multiple complaints and to set them all aside completely and give the accused a clean chit is unacceptable… It’s absolutely outrageous that they said that it is the accused… who needs protection,” she added.
Johri’s counsel Amit Anand Tiwari had said they “will request the HC to set aside its earlier direction so that he can be reinstated in his administrative posts”.