Three days after the Madras High Court instructed the police to look into a complaint of sexual harassment made by a Dalit woman at Quaid E Milleth College in Medavakkam, students staged a protest demanding action against the accused. The students said that besides harassing staff members, the officials had also installed cameras in many places, including restrooms and lobbies causing intense discomfort to the students.
Last week, a 46-year-old sweeper employed in the college had approached the court alleging that the principal and the superintendent of the college had sexually harassed her. The woman said she had put in 20 years of service as sweeper before being made office assistant a few months ago, and that she was demoted to the position of a sweeper again. “In the last few years, I was humiliated on account of my being a woman and a Dalit,” she said.
Refuting these charges, the principal said he was being targeted for enforcing discipline among students and staff members, which included a strict dress code on the campus. “To make sure sweepers were decently clad, we introduced blue coats for them. She refused to wear this uniform.” He said the woman had been dismissed from service twice before for using filthy language and shirking work.