Three persons — all Visva-Bharati (VB) students — were arrested on Saturday in Birbhum district of West Bengal after the university authorities filed a complaint of sexual harassment against a woman student.
A first year Visva-Bharati(VB) student had complained to university authorities of sexual harassment at the hands of four youths, three of them fellow students. The university authorities then lodged a police complaint on Saturday.
Significantly, on Friday VB authorities spared no pains to coax the victim and her father not to file a police complaint, and stay away from the media. On Friday, they persuaded the duo for more than three hours and finally escorted them to Bolpur station and put them on a New Jalpaiguri bound train.
On Saturday, the university authorities issued a statement saying they have suspended three of the accused students — Anirudha Karmakar, Arindam Giri and Masum Asique Mollah.
“A complaint regarding sexual harassment was lodged by varsity authorities. Soon after receiving the complaint, sub divisional police officer of Bolpur, Surya Prasad Yadav, has started investigation,” said Birbhum police superintendent Alok Rajoria.
The first incident took place on July 8. After the students started blackmailing her, she broke down after about a month and was hospitalized on August 25. She complained to the principal of Kala Bhavan (where she was studying) in writing on August 26.
“The authorities went to the extent of preventing the family from lodging a police complaint. As far as I know according to a Supreme Court order, in any type of sexual harassment case, authorities have to inform the cops immediately. But here they are trying to cover up the incident. I’ll raise this issue to parliament and inform the matter to MHRD and UGC,” said Anupam Hazra, local MP from Bolpur parliamentary seat.