A 24-year-old Iranian student of a medical institute in Rajasthan alleged on Monday that she was sexually harassed by the principal and now she was being pressured to withdraw the police case against him.
Rehana (name changed), who is pursuing a six-year course at the Institute of Pharmacy of the National Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) University in Jaipur, had lodged a sexual harassment case against institute principal Govind Mohan one-and-a-half-month ago. But, before that she went to the university’s sexual harassment committee, the vice-chancellor and even the state women commission for help but she only got assurances instead of help.
Rehana lodged a sexual harassment case against Mohan at Mahila police station on February 24. In the FIR, she alleged that he had sought sexual favours from her when she called on him in December last year to enquire how she could make up for the lost weekly internal assessment tests which she couldn’t attempt. Instead of giving her a reply, the principal allegedly held her hand, tried to touch her indecently and offered to help her out if she gave him sexual favours in exchange.
A disturbed Rehana left the chamber and didn’t go to the institute for a few days out of embarrassment.
But, the principal started to harass her more when she began to attend the institute later, Rehana alleged in the FIR . Principal Govind Mohan said, “I do not want to comment on the matter”.
Committee on prevention and redressal of sexual harassment chairman Veena Bhatangar said, “Many complaints come to the committee and I do not remember this particular case.”
Rehana alleged that vice-chancellor KC Singhal threatened to rusticate her from the institute when she called on him for help. Singhal, however, termed the charges as “baseless”.
She said after her complaint, a police team visited the institute and filed an FIR under sections 354 (intent to outrage woman’s modesty) and 509 (word, gesture of act intended to outrage modesty of a woman) of the IPC against the institute principal.
However, when nothing happened thereafter, she met the Jaipur police commissioner and even went to the state’s women commission but only got assurances of action.
Station officer of Mahila Thana Jaipur (rural) Priti Beniwal said the matter was still under investigation and the accused was yet to be questioned.