IIT-Madras Dalit scholar sexual assault case transferred to CB-CID
The sexual assault case of a 30-year-old PhD scholar in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has been transferred to the Crime Branch – Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID). The transfer takes place close to one year after the complaint was lodged and there was little action taken by the state police department.
TNM had earlier reported that the complaint of a 30-year-old Dalit woman scholar of IIT Madras, stating that she was sexually harassed by eight persons was filed in March 2021. She had also named one Kingshuk, a fellow scholar and main accused in the case, accusing him of sexually assaulting her. However, the FIR was only registered in June, three months after the complaint was first filed.
Even then, rape charges were not even mentioned in the FIR. The FIR also omitted sections of the SC/ST Act. Later, the FIR was altered after the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) took up the issue. However, the prime accused Kingshuk was able to get bail, and he also skipped summons issued to him citing health reasons.
AIDWA had alleged that police inaction and inordinate delay led to the lapse. They further demanded a CB-CID probe into the case saying that they had lost trust in the state police. Meanwhile, regarding the CB-CID transfer, police sources said that since the matter involves investigations outside Chennai and Tamil Nadu, as the main accused is from West Bengal, CB-CID is the competent authority to investigate the matter.
In March 2020, the survivor had filed the complaint citing incidents of harassment between 2016 and 2020, and the FIR was registered in June under sections 354 (assault of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 354C (voyeurism) and 506(1) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Later, the FIR was altered to include Sections 376 of IPC (punishment for rape) and relavant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
On March 27, 2022, Kingshuk was arrested from West Bengal by the Tamil Nadu police, but he secured bail the very next day, March 28 by convincing the court that he would pay the surety on an anticipatory bail he had obtained on December 6, 2021. The Chennai police later issued fresh summons to the accused to appear before the investigating officials on March 31. However, he did not appear in person for the enquiry and instead sent an email stating that he was affected by chickenpox, rendering him unable to join the investigation.
Courtesy : The news minute
Note: This news piece was originally published in thenewsminute.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights .