Protests outside police station over molestation charges against JNU professor

Members of AIPWA also demanded strict and prompt action against the accused JNU professor.

Protests outside police station over molestation charges against JNU professor
Pic courtesy: ANI

NEW DELHI: Members of CPI-M's women's wing, All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), on Tuesday protested outside Vasant Kunj Police Station over cases of alleged molestation against a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor.

They demanded strict and prompt action against the accused JNU professor. Meanwhile, All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) also staged a protest and submitted a memorandum to Vasant Kunj police station regarding the issue.

On Monday, students of the university had clashed with cops outside the Vasant Kunj Police Station during a protest against the professor accused of sexually harassing students in class. Demanding that the professor - Atul Johri - be immediately arrested, the students had also said eight FIRs based on eight complaints should be registered.

Hundreds of students had gathered outside the police station demanding strict action against Johri. While an FIR has already been filed against him, many are alleging only one FIR based on one of the many complaints has been filed. Instead, the demand is for eight separate FIRs based on eight complaints filed. The situation had quickly escalated with the protesting students clashing with cops deputed to ensure law and order was not compromised.

Earlier in the day,  54 JNU professors had petitioned Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West) Milind Dumbere's office for separate FIRs."Even though you have received 8 complaints, each of which reports incidents that are distinct and separated by space and time, you have chosen to register only one FIR under only one of the names. We are shocked to learn this as the law requires that a separate FIR is registered for each complaint," the petition read.

The accused professor Atul Johri has, however, maintained that he is innocent. While he has resigned from two administrative posts in JNU -- the director of the Human Resources Development Centre (HRDC) and the director of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) -- on "moral grounds", he claims that the allegation against him was a "motivated move" by students with vested interests.

Professor Johri of School of Life Sciences (SLS) has been accused of sexual harassment by a group of women students of the prestigious university. He has also been accused of financial irregularities.

At a press meet held on the campus, the women students of the SLS issued a statement which had said that the professor often makes lewd remarks, open demands for sex and comments on the figure of almost every girl. If a girl objects, he holds a grudge against her, it had said.

Another statement issued by the protesting students alleged a financial nexus between the professor and the JNU administration. 

A 26-year-old student, who went missing and was later traced to her relative's house, had reportedly also sent an e-mail to the professor in which she said that she was leaving the prestigious university as she was tired of the professor's alleged sexual misconduct.