St Stephen’s College’s controversial principal Valson Thampu has said the row over the alleged molestation of a research scholar, which rocked the institute for more than three months, was “much worse” than the lynching of a man in Bisada over rumours that he had slaughtered a cow.
Thampu said the research scholar involved in the matter had been forgotten like “useless rags” and dumped as an “abused specimen of humanity”.
He asked the girl to meet him so he could help her complete her PhD, saying she was a “hapless tool in the contrived sexual harassment plot” hatched by some persons.
“How is this episode, may I make bold to ask, any better than the lynching of Mohammad (Ikhlaq)? If anything, it is worse, much worse,” Thampu wrote in a Facebook post.
“The lynching was done by a frenzied mob of some 200 misguided, perhaps illiterate, nit-wits – victims of false propaganda and communal incitement. The smart guys who (metaphorically and existentially) ‘lynched’ this vulnerable, unsuspecting girl, in a state of desperation (the exact nature of which will, I hope, come to light some day), were highly educated (one of them a senior teacher in St Stephen’s College!) vandals, who crafted their subhuman plot of malice in cold blood,” he added.
In an incident that drew nationwide outrage, Mohammad Ikhlaq was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish critically injured when a mob broke into their home in Bisada village of Uttar Pradesh last week, accusing them of butchering a calf and eating beef.
The St Stephen’s College student had approached police in July and alleged that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the chemistry department. She also accused Thampu of “shielding” Kumar.
The student also made public recordings that she said were made during her meetings with Thampu to discuss the matter. Later, she withdrew her complaint made to the college’s Internal Complaints Committee, saying she had lost faith in the body.
Thampu has insisted that the girl was “mentored” by a few people who had vested interests.
He wrote: “For days, she was coached and tutored. She was serenaded from channel to channel. Suggestively masked and subtly revealed.”
“She filled the media space and was made to serve as the peg on which the masks of some people’s fleeting moral indignation could hang.
“Now she is forgotten! I knew it was going to happen. But I did not know it would happen so soon,” he added.
“She has been put aside and forgotten like useless rags. She is no longer of any use to her erstwhile handlers. They have become wiser and come to the conclusion that it is better for them to ‘sit it out’ for the rest of my tenure. The ‘Bramhastra’ has failed,” he wrote.
Thampu was summoned by the National Commission for Women and Delhi Commission for Women in connection with the matter.
The Internal Complaints Committee is yet to submit its report, which has been sought by the University Grants Commission and Union human resource development ministry.
(With inputs from PTI)