Jadavpur University molestation case: West Bengal govt​ announces 5-member probe committee

The West Bengal government on Monday announced a five-member committee to investigate the alleged harassment of a girl student in Jadavpur University and will submit its report 'as soon as possible'.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 22, 2014, 14:48 PM IST

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Monday announced a five-member committee to investigate the alleged harassment of a girl student in Jadavpur University and will submit its report 'as soon as possible'.

Calcutta University Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das would the chairman of the committee, state Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters here.

The other members of the probe panel are chairman of the governing body of Netaji Subhas Institute of Asian Studies Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, School Service Commission chairman Subhiresh, Bethune College principal Sangita Tripathi Mitra and head of department of St Xaviers' College mass communication and journalism Ananya Chakraborty, he said.

"The committee will try to submit its report regarding the girl's allegations of being sexually molested as soon as possible," the minister said.

It has been decided that the panel will preferably submit its report within 72 hours as the girl and her family had personally approached the chief minister demanding a neutral probe.

The education department wants the probe to be completed quickly as per Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's order and after getting the report the education department would hold a meeting with the chief minister to decide on its next step, the minister said.

"The Education department has taken this initiative as per Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's instructions after the girl had personally requested her to look into the matter," he said.

Asked why the decision on forming the panel was taken two days after the girl had asked for an independent probe into the matter, the minister said 'certain rules' needed to be followed before an investigation could be started.

"It (investigation) cannot be started suddenly. People who are associated with the university know the process. The Internal Complex Committee (ICC) is there and it will work as per the university rules," he added.

The Education Minister said the JU students agitation has no connection with the alleged molestation of the girl. "The students' agitation has no connection with this case and JU administration will look into that (agitation)."

Chatterjee said the inclusion of two women professors would ensure the girl is comfortable while explaining her views.

"The work of the two lady professors will be to talk to the girl. The male members of the panel will be on the table and have no role in talking to the girl," he said.

Chatterjee had yesterday visited the girl's residence and announced that an inquiry committee would be formed on the directive of the chief minister.

Even though JU authorities had formed a probe panel to investigate the alleged molestation that took place in the campus on August 28, students 'gheraoed' the VC, registrar and other members of the executive council on the intervening night of September 16 and September 17 demanding a fresh probe panel.