DUTA demands principal’s arrest for abetting the suicide of the lab technician, who accused him of sexual harassment

Several teacher and student groups across Delhi University have demanded the suspension, removal or arrest (pending investigation) of the B. R. Ambedkar College principal, who has been accused of sexually harassing a lab technician.

The woman had set herself on fire outside the Delhi Secretariat last week. She was fired from her job allegedly after she complained of sexual harassment by the principal. She succumbed to first degree burns on Sunday night.

“It is extremely sad that the principal of B. R. Ambedkar College, whom she had accused of sexual harassment and now named as the cause of her suicide in her dying declaration, roams free, while her family, colleagues and well-wishers mourn her death. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association demands that the principal, G.K. Arora, be immediately arrested under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC and suspended by the university to allow for an impartial probe on the allegations made by the victim,” said DUTA president Nandita Narain.

A protest was also held outside the college by the Karamcharis’ Union. Some teacher activists also approached the chairperson of the National Commission for Women.

“We explained to the chairperson that it was a case of systematic and planned sexual harassment, mental and physical torture perpetuated by the principal. We also demanded that the police immediately arrest the principal, and the Governing Body and university sack him,” said Aditya Misra of teachers’ group Academics for Action and Development.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidayarthi Parishad, which controls the Delhi University Students’ Union, has also demanded the immediate sacking of the principal. “If the university does not take any action by Tuesday, we will launch an agitation to get justice for the victim,” said ABVP secretary Rohit Chahal.

Meanwhile, the university said: “Though the matter is within the purview of the college governance, the university has sought a report on the incident from the Governing Body of the college to enable it to take further action.”

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