PhD scholar sexual assault case: National ST/SC commission issues notice to IIT Madras
Chennai: The National ST/SC commission has issued a notice to the renowned educational institution Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in connection with the sexual assault of a 30-year-old Dalit PhD scholar. As per the case details, the victim, who was residing at the IIT Madras campus had complained of sexual assault by 8 persons in March 2020 and in her complaint, she had named one fellow scholar as the main accused.
However, the FIR in this case was registered 3 months later in June after the complaint was first filed. Recently, the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch – Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) and it must be noted that the transfer took place more than a year later since the complaint was lodged in connection with the heinous offence and it suggests that there was little action taken by the state police department.
As per reports, the 30-year-old Dalit woman narrated the harrowing ordeal in her complaint and stated that 8 persons sexually harassed her and she also named one Kingshuk (fellow scholar) as the main accused who perpetrated the crime.
Furthermore, at first, the FIR not only excluded sections of the SC/ST Act but also rape charges were not mentioned in the FIR. IT was only when the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) took up the issue that the FIR was changed. AIDWA further blamed police inaction and undue delay leading to the lapse.
What is the case?
The 30-year-old rape survivor in her complaint stated that ever since she joined the institution, she was physically and mentally harassed by her colleague Kingshuk Debsharma and while the other 7 accused also physically and mentally harassed her. His barbaric act did not end here as he sexually abused her in 2018 in Coorg when they went on a tour and even filmed her, stated reports.
Following the crime, the woman approached the cops and lodged a complaint citing various incidents of harassment between 2016 and 2020. The FIR was lodged 3 months after the complaint 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, teh FIR was also altered to include Sections 376 of IPC (punishment for rape) and relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The main accused named by the woman–Kingshuk– was put under arrest on March 27, 2022 from West Bengal. However, he managed to get the bail the very next day on various grounds. Furthermore, he did not abide by the instructions of the Chennai police who asked him to appear in person for the probe citing he is affected by chickenpox and won’t be able to join the probe.
Courtesy : Times now news
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