Chennai Police arrests SRM University staffer accused of sexual harassment after students demand varsity action

The Chennai Police arrested an employee of the SRM University at Kattankulathur area in the city on charges of sexual harassment, hours after student protests broke out inside the campus. The students were protesting against the university's alleged inaction in the case despite a sexual harassment complaint by a woman student.

The accused, identified as 26-year-old Arjun, a staff worker who clears out food waste from inside the canteens and mess halls, has been arrested by the Maraimalai Nagar police, The News Minute reported.

"The hostel warden filed a complaint against the man and we have arrested him. An FIR has been registered under sections 294(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place) and 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and we will be remanding him immediately," a police officer said.

File image of the accused. Screengrab from Facebook/Dishna Wilson

File image of the accused. Screengrab from Facebook/Dishna Wilson

According to reports, Arjun masturbated at a second-year student inside the women's hostel lift, but instead of taking action against the culprit the hostel warden took to moral policing and told the students that such things happen to 'North Indian' girls.

According to the students of the SRM University, the incident happened around 3 pm on Thursday and the protests went on till almost 11.30 pm when the police came and forced the students to disperse. The students were angry about the college authorities' 'indifferent attitude' towards the incident and demanded that the college file a complaint against the culprit.

According to another protester, the hostel warden purposely delayed giving access to the CCTV footage of the elevator and the registering of a complaint by over two hours.

"The employee was identified by the student in the CCTV footage. However she was asked to stay mum about the incident by the authorities," the protester said, adding that the hostel authorities allegedly blamed the victim.

SRM University vice-chancellor Sandeep Sancheti, denied the allegations of inaction and said the administration would look into the student's complaint. "Students are discussing with us. Whatever the matter is, it will be taken care of. If there is a matter, it will be inquired," Sancheti told PTI.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2018 14:04:44 IST

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