New Delhi: In wake of another controversy at St Stephen's college over a complaint of vandalism filed by the principal Valson Thampu against the student who took him to court in an e-zine row, a group of college alumni and women right activists condemned the act and questioned DU's silence.
The college authorities had yesterday filed a complaint against Devansh Mehta for allegedly "trespassing" the campus and vandalising the laboratory lab while he had accompanied the research scholar who had accused a college professor of molesting her.
The victim and Mehta had also filed a complaint alleging they were denied access to the Chemistry laboratory and when they forcefully tried to enter they were locked inside. They also alleged that the compounds which the scholar had prepared during three years of her research were found destroyed inside the lab.
No FIR has been registered yet in both the cases.
While Thampu has claimed "there is lot to be read between the lines about Mehta and sexual harassment victim coming together", a group of college alumni today condemned the principal's act and questioned why the Delhi University authorities are silent over such happenings at the institution.
"Nothing has been done so far about the sexual harassment complaint, the victim's guide has not been changed and her stipend not released yet, Thampu is repetitively attacking Devansh Mehta by denying him a character certificate and filing a vandalism complaint," said the Old Stephanians Association, an alumni body not recognised by college.
"Why is Vice Chancellor silent over principal's act of playing with students' future? Why has the victim's guide not been changed yet? We request the HRD ministry to institute a fact finding committee to investigate the sexual harassment complaint," it added.
The alumni group also said that the victim's request for an appointment with the VC to raise the issue has not materialised yet.
Women activist Kavita Krishnan from All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) said, "while Thampu alleges that he is being hounded as an animal, he is subjecting the students to harassment and also everyone else who comes out in their support"
The Centre for Struggling Women (CSW) said, "we are shocked that the accused continues to move around the college campus freely and is thereby at liberty to continue hampering the completion of the complainant's research but the victim is not allowed access to the lab".
Defending himself the student editor Devansh Mehta who had knocked the doors of the High Court in April to secure stay on his suspension order issued by Thampu for publishing an e-zine without clearance on content, called the vandalism complaint part of a "larger conspiracy".
"This is part of a larger conspiracy against me. First I was denied character certificate which is a prerequisite for my admission to Columbia University and then this vandalism complaint to spoil my prospects. This is Thampu's personal vendetta against me," he alleged during a press conference.
Thampu has termed the entire episode a "constructed conspiracy".
"This is another constructed drama...I condemn the vandalism action by Devansh. The two separate incidents being merged with the sexual harassment victim and Mehta coming together itself smells of controversy," he told PTI.
"These are nothing but attempts to malign the institution. We do not encourage any sort of violence on the campus," he added.