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Foreign scholar, two others accuse 5 IIT-Roorkee professors of sexual harassment

A three-member SIT has been formed to probe the matter, a police official said. 

Written by Kavita Upadhyay | Dehradun |
Updated: December 19, 2018 3:05:49 am
In 10 days, three women come out against 5 IIT-Roorkee professors alleging sexual assault IIT- roorkee (Source: iitr.ac.in)

Two IIT-Roorkee students and a foreign scholar who had come to deliver a lecture have approached Haridwar police in the last 10 days with allegations of sexual harassment against at least five professors at the institute.

Last week, a research student approached police with allegations of harassment against two professors. Her complaint also named the IIT-Roorkee director and dean for allegedly taking no action against the professors.

The researcher told the media, “In the past two years my supervisor harassed me sexually and mentally. He also used caste slurs. I complained about it to the director and dean, and they forwarded the complaint to the women’s cell. The head of the women’s cell said the supervisor will be changed but no action would be taken against him.”

She said another professor, with a “reputation of touching women inappropriately”, was later made her supervisor. “So I approached the police,” she said.

A statement by IIT-R stated, “A few months back the institute received a formal complaint from the supervising faculty for misconduct by the (research) student. The student (later) filed a complaint against the supervisor, which was duly investigated by the institute and the student was assigned two new supervisors. The student has again requested for change of supervisor.”

Haridwar SSP Ridhim Aggarwal said, “A three-member SIT has been formed to probe the matter.” Aggarwal told The Indian Express that on Sunday she received a message on her phone from another woman student of IIT-Roorkee. Aggarwal said the student has not filed a formal police complaint yet.

Sonika Srivastava, from the institute’s media cell, told The Indian Express that the student had recently approached the IIT-R administration with the complaint, and that it is under review.

Around 10 days ago, Haridwar police received another complaint on email, in which a foreign scholar alleged that she was sexually harassed by three IIT-R professors in 2015. Aggarwal said, “We have no contact details of the (foreign) scholar other than her email ID… We have sent her an email asking for details of the incident, and for her phone number. We haven’t received a reply yet.

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