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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Delhi Police ask PTU officials to depose in sexual harassment case

Jasdeep Singh Malhotra , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, February 13, 2013
First Published: 20:40 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 17:19 IST(15/2/2013)

The Delhi Police have issued notices to senior Punjab Technical University (PTU) officials, including its deputy registrar to join the investigation in connection with an FIR registered against its functionaries for allegedly outraging the modesty of the women during a meeting at Delhi last month, it is learnt.

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The police sources said that the presence of these functionaries was necessary for the purpose of inquiry into the FIR registered under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) at Parliament Street police station, New Delhi.

“Therefore the said persons are hereby directed to appear before the investigation officer as per given dates to give such information relating to the said alleged offence as they may possess,” the notice said.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, KC Dwivedi, additional commissioner of police, New Delhi, said that the vice-chancellor Rajneesh Arora and registrar HS Bains were not served with any notice to join investigation. "The accused mentioned in the FIR have only been asked to join the investigation as per law," he clarified.

The Delhi police had registered an FIR against Praveen Kumar, consultant and a friend of the vice-chancellor; Walia, Sandeep Kajal, deputy controller, Aditya Jha and his associates Sachin Kumar and Badrinath Agrahari.

Neelam, a resident of Delhi's Patel Nagar, in her complaint to the Delhi Police alleged that a meeting of the learning centres was convened by the university authorities at the Constitution Club of India. "Agitated over not getting proper invitation, a section of learning centre representatives, including women, reached the venue at the scheduled meeting time only to get confronted by the already deployed bouncers. The bouncers were carrying weapons and were violent. They were totally repulsive and were pushing, abusing and threatening the female members," she had alleged.

Neelam alleged that Praveen Kumar, owner of consultancy firm NetIIT hired by the university, was leading the entire episode and was guiding all hooligans to misbehave with them. “Jha was also involved. Walia and Kajal also threatened us with dire consequences. At the entrance gate, bouncers showed revolvers and started pushing and shoving the women. On trying to contact the police, they snatched our mobile phone. They even pushed some female members inside a room and locked it from outside," she had alleged.

Video footage can nail lie

Interestingly, the PTU authorities have procured the video footage of the meeting from the Constitution Club of India to defend the allegations against its officials. “The meeting's video footage clearly reveals that no such incident had occurred as was being alleged by Neelam. The PTU officials were clearly seen holding the meeting in a proper decorum and none of the women were harassed or molested at all. The complainant is making false allegations for vested interests,” PTU sources revealed.

This is to mention here that a private firm owner, whose contract was recently terminated by the university authorities, was actually pursuing the sexual harassment case from the complaint's side. Neelam is said to be one of his close aides.

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