DU employee sexual harassment case: Arvind Kejriwal demands arrest of college principal

Aam Aadmi Party`s Convener Arvind Kejriwal joined the protesters demanding justice for Pavitra Bharadwaj, a former employee of Delhi University, who committed suicide alleging sexual harassment by the institute`s principal.

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2013, 15:07 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party`s Convener Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday joined the protesters demanding justice for Pavitra Bharadwaj, a former employee of Delhi University, who committed suicide alleging sexual harassment by the institute`s principal.

Addressing the crowd, which gathered outside Delhi police headquarters to condemn police inaction in the matter, Kejriwal demanded the arrest of Ambedkar College`s principal VK Arora.
Bhardwaj, 40, was a former Ambedkar College lab attendant. On September 30, she set herself ablaze outside the Delhi Chief Minister`s office and died of her injuries later.

She had alleged sexual harassment by college principal VK Arora, who has dismissed the charges.

In her plea, the woman had said the college principal was sexually harassing her for four years and had even threatened to kill her son.

Members from Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), Delhi University and College Karamchari Union (DUCKU) and activists and members of Aam Aadami Party (AAP) slammed the Delhi Police for not taking action against the accused.

"We want justice for Pavitra," AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said.

"In the normal course of law, does an investigation take place on the basis of a suicide or not? They should have registered an FIR and arrested the principal, but nothing has happened," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said the college principal was "highly connected and will be able to influence the investigation". He demanded an independent inquiry into the suicide and the allegations against the principal.

Social activist Kavita Krishnan said this was not an isolated case, and demanded that the principal be arrested.

"It is not an isolated case. There is a long list... police is trying to dilute the case," Krishnan said.
In her testimony before the sub-divisional magistrate, Pavitra had alleged that the principal was asking for sexual favours and after she filed a complaint, she was fired for misconduct.

The Delhi government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of Pavitra. "Retired Additional District Judge BL Garg will conduct inquiry into all aspects and circumstances leading to the incident of self-immolation by Pavitra Bhardwaj," a statement from the Delhi government said on October 09.

(With IANS inputs)