Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Delhi University has been "extremely callous" in dealing with cases of sexual harassment against women teachers and girl students on the campus and the administration has failed to "adequately respond" to them, the Democratic Teachers' Front (DTF) has alleged.

Citing different instances, the Front along with Janvadi Mahila Samiti and Students' Federation of India (SFI) accused the University of "encouraging" sexual harassment by failing to discharge its responsibilities.

Alluding to the case of a woman teacher of Dyal Singh College who in 2005 complained against a fellow teacher who allegedly used obscene language with reference to her, Janvadi Mahila Samiti president Kirti Singh said that even after two separate inquiry committees had indicted the latter he had escaped punishment for months.

"The second inquiry was conducted by the Apex Complaints Committee, the highest authority on such matters under the University Ordinance on Sexual Harassment [Ordinance XV (d)]. The implementation of its recommendations being mandatory, action against the accused teacher became inevitable with the Apex Committee's decision. But nothing has happened so far," she said.

"Through simply sitting on the report and by creating pretexts for cancelling college Governing Body meetings that had the matter on the agenda and by shuttling the file between the college and the University, the authorities have successfully avoided taking any action," Ms. Singh charged.

Front secretary Surajit Mazumdar alleged that despite assurances by the University Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental that all possible measures would be taken to bring to book the person who had allegedly circulated obscene verses about a woman teacher in the Urdu Department, nothing had been done.

Assurances

"The Vice-Chancellor had assured that the University would pursue the matter with the police. This assurance was repeated to a delegation of some elected members of the Academic and Executive Council some time later. But when a similar delegation met him recently, it was discovered that the complaint had been lying in the file for nearly a month and no official had acted on it."

SFI representatives highlighted the case of an M.Sc. student on the South Campus who had to experience the administration's "obstructive attitude" when she wanted to make a complaint of sexual harassment against a teacher.

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