Sexual harassment row: DUTA slams Thampu's clean chit to professor

The Delhi University Teachers' Association on Friday protested outside St Stephen's college over a series of Facebook posts by its principal Valson Thampu in which he gave a clean chit to a professor accused of sexually harassing a research scholar.

New Delhi: The Delhi University Teachers' Association on Friday protested outside St Stephen's college over a series of Facebook posts by its principal Valson Thampu in which he gave a clean chit to a professor accused of sexually harassing a research scholar.

In his most recent Facebook post, Thampu claimed he only "stood by a disabled colleague who was hounded precisely because he was upright and incorruptible".

In a separate post, he used terms like "I curse you" and "monster" to describe a particular "teacher" who is, according to him, behind "concocting" the sexual harassment charges against the accused.

"Commenting on a sub-judice matter using the social media to hit out at teachers and using such loose and colored language to malign the victim, is utterly disgraceful and unbecoming of a head of institution," said Maya John, former president of Students' Union of the Stephens College and a women's rights activist who was also part of the protest.

She demanded that Thampu be removed immediately. President of DUTA Nandita Narain said, "He has attempted to compromise a fair and clean probe by commenting on it.

He has further assassinated the victim and all those standing by her. He is already asserting that the complainant is a liar, a concocter."

"Moreover, he is blatantly maligning those choosing to side with the girl. Thereby, he is making sure no one ever dares to come out in the open and talk about such cases of harassment. This is an extremely shameful and condemnable behavior," she said.

Abha Dev Habib, a member of the Executive Council of Delhi University, said: "What transpired in Rohith Vermula's suicide case and the case of three students killing themselves in Tamil Nadu was an indirect result of irresponsible behavior by the heads of institutions of the respective colleges.

Have we learnt nothing from these incidents? We must make sure that such a horror doesn't repeat itself and Thampu is removed."

The Delhi Commission for Women had last month taken cognizance of Thampu's controversial Facebook posts and issued him a show-cause notice.

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