Irani meets St Stephen's molestation victim, directs DU to give stipend, access to lab
HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday met the St Stephen's College molestation victim and later asked Delhi University to ensure that the girl gets her stipend and unrestricted access to the lab, and that her research supervisor is immediately changed.
New Delhi: HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday met the St Stephen's College molestation victim and later asked Delhi University to ensure that the girl gets her stipend and unrestricted access to the lab, and that her research supervisor is immediately changed.
The research scholar of St Stephen's College, who has accused a college professor of molesting her, met the minister, along with CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, during which the minister assured her of justice.
Following the meeting, the minister issued directives to Delhi University, to aid and support the girl.
"The minister has already intervened in the issue and has conveyed to the university that till the time the ICC completes its probe, it should ensure that the girl gets her stipend and has unrestricted access to the laboratory and that her research supervisor is immediately changed," Karat told PTI.
"We took up the case with her and she said that she will categorically uphold the law against sexual harassment and will definitely take action to bring relief to the girl," she said.
The victim had approached police last month, alleging that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the college's Chemistry Department.
She had also accused college principal Valson Thampu of "shielding" the teacher when the matter was reported to him. She had also made public a set of recordings which she claimed to have made during her meetings with the principal over the issue.
Taking cognizance of the entire matter, the HRD Ministry had sought an action taken report from Delhi University and St. Stephen's College and asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to ensure that the investigation by the institution's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) is expedited.
The girl has, however, withdrawn her complaint from the ICC saying she has lost faith in its proceedings and therefore is seeking redress elsewhere.
The Delhi High Court had ordered a stay on the accused's arrest till 17 August.
St Stephen's College principal Thampu drew flak over the incident with repeated demands for his resignation from several quarters.
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St Stephen's College principal Valson Thampu, who is embroiled in a controversy in a molestation row, claimed the victim is being used against him.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea of St Stephen's College management against a Delhi High Court order granting interim stay on the proceedings by a fact-finding team of the college against one of its teachers.
St Stephen's research scholar who was allegedly molested by a college professor on Thursday warned him and college principal Valson Thampu of legal action if they do not facilitate disbursal of her stipend, access to her compounds and computational data within seven days.