New Delhi: A student at the South Asian University has made serious allegations of sexual harassment against a professor from the faculty of Law. According to the student, the compliant has not been received well by the administration.
She alleges that even after writing multiple e-mails pleading to constitute a committee to look into the matter, the administration not only took her for granted but also blocked all her emails.
The Student has shared twitter threads of the incident on the microblogging site, she has also posted screenshots of the mail she has sent to the Acting President of the University.
The student has also alleged that within half a day after she raised an allegation of sexual harassment against the professor, he was promoted to dean of faculty of legal studies at the University.
She has addressed the mail to the Ministry of External Affairs as well as the president of the University, on 14th March 2023.
She has made allegations against the university stating that the varsity does not have an effective mechanism to address sexual harassment complaints, she also pointed out the callous approach taken by the university in the matters of sexual harassments cases.
In the mail she alleges, "It was the beginning of the second semester and students had collectively decided to boycott ongoing online classes as scholarships were not released by the university."
She further says, "the alleged Professor was conducting classes which were taught both for the PHD and Masters' students and he continued to teach PHD students as the Masters students continued the boycott. I requested a dialogue with him and he agreed to speak over the phone. On the call, he stated that he is willing to conduct classes in a secretive manner without bringing it to the knowledge of the administration."
"I was quite perplexed by his response and I asked him how he can conduct classes in a secretive manner. His response was, When a doctor takes off the clothes of the patient, the doctor doesn't do so with the intention of molesting the patient, rather it is out of care. Similarly, a teacher and a student share a fiduciary relationship and you must trust me." added the student in her mail.
Even though I felt extremely uncomfortable by the way he spoke, I have for a very long period of time tried to downplay the inherent misogyny and sexism in that conversation as he was my professor. I had even informed two of my professors about the said incident, but I had requested them to not share it with anyone as I was scared of the consequences," the Law student said.
In the letter to the Ministry of External affairs, the student has asked to immediately withhold the promotion granted to said professor in the face of sexual harassments allegations and also demanded an anti-sexual harassments committee with 2 elected student representatives and also allow her to put grievances in front of the committee.
In her tweets she also alleges, "I followed up with a mail to Prof. Mohammad Abulaish, Acting registrar at South Asian University requesting him to take action against professor Pratap but he did not respond."
She further alleges, Upon not receiving any response from Professor Abulaish, she had written to the Acting Vice President in an email dated 19th March 2023.
She further alleges that when none of the administrators took any action against the accused professor, she questioned the faculty of department of Legal studies, SAU, about their silence only to met with continued and willful silence by others faculty members too.
She further tweets and alleges, "After a few days, I wrote a mail to Senthil K Venugopal, Acting Vice President of South Asian University to constitute a committee as per the POSH Act and Vishakha guidelines. He did not respond."
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