Remove Visva-Bharati VC: Women`s commission tells PM

Last Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 22:36

Kolkata: The West Bengal Commission for Women on Monday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately remove Visva Bharati University Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Datta Gupta for alleged continued humiliation of a lady professor who has accused him of sexual harassment.
"It is most unnerving to observe that in various media, Prof Datta Gupta continues to humiliate the lady professor who filed complaints of sexual harassment against him in 2004 and (had) undergone prolonged harassment," the Commission`s chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister.

She said that the Vice-Chancellor had not only committed an offence toward a woman colleague during his tenure at the Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in 2004, but continued to abuse his power and position to influence proceedings against him.

A month ago, the panel had written to the PM and President after which the National Commission for Women also sought action, but nothing happened.

Mukherjee said the VC was making a mockery of statutory bodies like West Bengal Commission for Women and the National Commission for Women entrusted to protect safety, dignity and security of women in India.
"Prof Datta Gupta`s remorseless desperation, reckless media statements have left us in a state of helplessness, shock and fear," she said.

The women`s body had also urged President Pranab Mukherjee to withdraw the Padmashree awarded to him earlier this year.

The letter alleged that the VC was dishonestly and deliberately interpreting two orders of the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court, terming it as deplorable attempts to trivialise the issue of his sexual misconduct for which punishment was due to him.

Copies of the letter were sent to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, National Commission for Women Mamta Sharma, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Datta Gupta, who was found guilty of sexual harassment by a ministerial committee set up by the Minister of Science and Technology in 2005, has denied all the charges and described it as a malicious campaign against him.

Located in Rabindranath Tagore`s abode in Santiniketan, Visva Bharati is a central university with the Prime Minister as the Chancellor.

PTI

First Published: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 22:36

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