I am being chased like Dawood Ibrahim: Valson Thampu

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2015 15:13 IST

St Stephen’s College principal Valson Thampu compared himself to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and alleged that he was being chased in a way worse than the gangster.

“I am Dawood Ibrahim and that is why I am being attacked. I don’t think even Dawood has been chased the way I have been. I think it’s a shame on our civilized society that they cannot allow an old man to rest in peace,” Thampu said on Thursday. The St Stephen’s principal also accused the media of hounding him in the sexual harassment case of a PhD student in his college.

The girl student had alleged last month that she was molested by Kumar, an assistant professor in the Chemistry department, under whom she was pursuing research. She had also accused Thampu of shielding the teacher when the matter was reported to him.

“I am being constantly attacked and hounded. But I am willing to go to any extent for seeking justice,” he said.

"My imagination in this respect cannot go beyond Dawood Ibrahim as he is the ultimate embodiment of aversions. I stand by every word I say or have said. I am not a coward to attribute anything to the 'incompetence' of media. Yes, I am Dawood Ibrahim," he said.

A section of students, college’s alumni and women rights groups have been pressing for his resignation in the wake of the controversy.

Thampu, the accused professor and the research scholar were summoned on Wednesday by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and the issue was discussed at length during the three-hour long meeting.

Prior to the DCW hearing, Thampu had sought suggestions on his Facebook page about "whether he should appear before the DCW with his face covered as usually all harassers and rapists are photographed with their faces covered".

Thampu, who has been embroiled in controversies ever since he took over as the college principal in 2008, had earlier said he would resign if "it is objectively proved that he is an embarrassment to the institution".

"I conveyed the same to the DCW chief too. Getting the research scholar's supervisor changed and facilitating her compounds is not in my domain.

"But I have told the commission that if slightest of lapse is found on my part during the probe, it should recommend to the college's Supreme Council that my services be terminated," he said.

Thampu is due to retire from the post in February 2016.

Controversies like allegations of forced conversion of an administrative officer to Christianity, fake degree used for his appointment, banning of e-zine for not seeking permission on content and shielding a professor accused of sexual harassment of a research scholar, have rocked the college from time to time.

Thampu, however, has maintained that no other institution in the world has been subjected to such "harassment" but it is strong enough to withstand 1,000 other controversies.

(With inputs from PTI)

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