SRM Chennai's moral policing overshadows sexual assault on student; it happens to 'North Indian' girls, says hostel warden

Protests erupted at Chennai's SRM Institute of Science and Technology on Thursday night after a student was sexually harassed in the institute's women's hostel.

According to reports, a staffer, probably a "garbage man" (as described by the students) masturbated at a second year student inside a lift in the women's hostel, 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. A few instagram profiles have identified the culprit, however, Firstpost could not independently verify it.

Students protest inside the SRM college campus. Facebook@

Students protest inside the SRM college campus. Facebook@

According to students at the SRM University, the incident happened at around 3 pm on Thursday and the protests went on till almost 11.30 pm when the police came and forced the students to disband the protests. According to the students, the aggrieved girl has not filed a complaint with the police yet.

The students, reports said, are angry about the college authorities indifferent attitude towards the incident and demanded that the college file a complaint against the culprit.

"One of the first things that the warden told us was to change our clothes. She accused us of wearing short clothes implying that the girl deserved what she got. In fact the first response when we went to file a complaint was to go to our room, change our clothes and sleep. How can they be this insensitive?" a friend of the survivor told NewsMinute.

According to reports, the survivor was inside the lift when, to her shock, the worker started masturbating at her. When she tried to escape, the man blocked her path. When the lift reached the fourth floor, she ran out screaming. "She had pressed the 4th floor button and he, the 6th. But the man moved the lift to the 8th floor. He did not let her go until she screamed," a student told NDTV. The incident took place on Thursday afternoon.

In multiple posts on Facebook and Instagram, students from the college alleged that the hostel warden, with whom the students had first raised the matter, tried to sush the matter, and even delayed access to the CCTV footage to identify the culprit.

And even though the survivor had identified the worker by going through the CCTV footage in the hostel, no action was taken against the culprit, they alleged.

"She was told to stay mum about the matter and not publicise it by the hostel management. However, despite this being a criminal offence, the police has still not been notified about the event," a student of the college posted on Facebook.

Videos of agitated girl students inside the campus were shared on social media showed hundreds of students gathered at a ground inside the college campus and raising slogans against the college administration. The students were demanding that the college file a complaint against the culprit.

"It is the belief of all the girls in the hostel that the management is responsible to file an FIR against the said man," the post said.

SRM University Vice Chancellor Sandeep Sancheti, however, has denied the allegations of inaction, News18 said. "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 was quoted by the News website.

News18 said that a picture of the accused titled ‘He is the Culprit’ is being circulated on WhatsApp groups.

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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2018 12:29:23 IST

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