Five of IIT Roorkee professors face sexual harrassment allegations

Five professors from the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, are facing serious sexual harassment allegations from two students and an American scholar.

Last week, a research student accused two professors of harassing her, reported Indian Express. The director of the institution and the dean didn’t take any action against the accused, her complaint to the police read.

“In the past two years my supervisor harassed me sexually and mentally,” the complainant told the media. “He also used caste slurs. I complained about it to the director and dean, and they forwarded the complaint to the women’s cell. The head of the women’s cell said the supervisor will be changed but no action would be taken against him.”She said she approached the police after another professor with a “reputation of touching women inappropriately” was made her supervisor.

In a statement, the institute administration said it had received a formal complaint of misconduct against the student a few months back. It was filed by her supervisor. The student then filed a complaint against the supervisor, which was investigated and she was assigned two new supervisors, IIT Roorkee said. “The student has again requested for a change of supervisor,” the statement said. The institute has extended full cooperation to the student to enable her to complete her academic program, the Scroll reported.

The police, meanwhile, also received an email from the American scholar 10 days back and a text message from another student at the institution, The Times of India reported. The American scholar who was attending a seminar in August 2015, and in May 2016, complained that she had been sexually harassed by three faculty members, IIT Roorkee said. “Her complaint was inquired into by the Internal Complaints Committee of the institute,” the college administration said. “In August 2016, ICC concluded that the complaint…does not constitute any gender-based discrimination and harassment as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.”

The police have formed a three-member Special Investigation Team to look into the allegations leveled by the research student, Senior Superintendent of Police (Haridwar) Ridhim Aggarwal told The Indian Express. The police are trying to get in touch with the American woman and have sent her an email asking for details of the incident and her phone number.

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