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Molest probe delay in CU
- Student accuses teacher of assault

A Calcutta University (CU) student has accused a teacher of molesting her, but the authorities have taken more than a month to order a probe.

The delay violates a Supreme Court order that any complaint of sexual harassment has to be acted on immediately.

A postgraduate student of Viharilal College of Home and Social Sciences had submitted a written complaint to the university authorities in the first week of December, alleging that she had been molested by her teacher Indubhusan Mondal in the computer laboratory on November 30.

The girl had alleged that Mondal, a Bengali teacher, had offered to train her in operating a computer after class. Not suspecting Mondal’s motive, she accompanied him to the laboratory, where he allegedly molested her.

With the university reportedly sitting on the complaint, the girl’s parents met the teachers of the south Calcutta college in December-end and urged them to take up the matter with the authorities.

The appeal prompted the woman teachers of the college to raise their voice against the “inaction”. They met vice-chancellor Ashis Kumar Banerjee early this month and demanded action against Mondal, a leader of the CPM-controlled Calcutta University Teachers’ Association (Cuta).

The university finally set up a committee on Friday to probe the students’ complaint.

“The vice-chancellor has formed an inquiry committee on the basis of the complaint,” registrar Samir Bandyopadhyay said on Monday.

“The committee has been asked to submit its report at the earliest. We will be able to give our opinion on the matter only after going through the report,” he added.

“The girl had gone through hell and is yet to recover from the shock,” said a teacher.

Mondal, when contacted by Metro, said he was in the dark about the allegation against him. “No one has informed me about the inquiry,” he said, refusing to speak further on the issue.

Mondal was promoted to a senior rank early this month. “The girl had lodged her complaint in December. How could the authorities promote him without verifying whether the allegation is true or not?” wondered a teacher of the college.

Minati Sen, the head of the home science department of the college, refused to comment. So did Cuta general secretary Biplab Chakraborty.

Following the Supreme Court order, the University Grants Commission has made it mandatory for every college and university to take prompt action if there is a complaint of sexual harassment. The order came into effect in Calcutta University three years ago.

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