Sunday, December 4, 2022

Prevent sexual harassment, Congress urges Visva Bharati

Kolkata, Sep 3 (IANS) Amid the controversy over the alleged sexual harassment of a female student from the northeast at the Visva Bharati University in West Bengal, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Wednesday met the vice chancellor and urged him to take steps to prevent such incidents.

A Bengal court Sunday sent three university students to three days’ police custody in connection with the alleged sexual harassment of a first year Fine Arts student from Sikkim.

“Visva Bharati is a university of international repute. An unethical incident has occurred and people in the state have protested. The education sector in India is shocked and moreover, such an incident happened with a student from the northeast.

“They (the university) should have acted more swiftly in the matter and should ensure such incidents do not recur,” Chowdhury told reporters after meeting vice chancellor Sushanta Datta Gupta.

Accused of sexually assaulting the student and blackmailing her, the trio was arrested Saturday and booked for criminal intimidation and outraging the modesty of a woman.

The accused have claimed innocence.

The university, founded by Asia’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Bolpur town of Birbhum district, Saturday suspended the three and lodged a police complaint following an internal probe into the incident.

The female student’s father has accused a university official of offering him money to hush up the matter and not to approach police.

The West Bengal Commission for Women has already taken cognizance of the incident and said it will seek the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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