Police on Wednesday booked the warden of the men’s hostel of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP) on charges of sodomy.
The first information report (FIR) under section 377 (unnatural sexual activities) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against the accused, identified as Navneet Sharma — an assistant professor at CUHP’s School of Education — following a protest by inmates on the varsity campus at Shahpur, near Kangra.
The hostel residents chose the CUHP’s annual day function to raise their grievances and held a demonstration, demanding action against the warden.
A student (name withheld) of the computer science department and an inmate of the Tagore Men’s Hostel located in Kangra alleged that the hostel warden was sexually abusing him since November last year.
The student said on November 18, he had gone to attend a teacher’s marriage at Solan where the accused forced him to consume alcohol and sexually abused him. “Since then, he has been sexually abusing me,” he alleged.
The protesters alleged that they had earlier submitted a complaint against the warden to pro vice-chancellor Yogender Singh Verma, but no action was taken. Verma, however, denied the charge and said that he didn’t receive any such complaint.
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists joined the protest and a lodged a complaint against the accused at the Shahpur police station.
Kangra superintendent of police (SP) Sanjeev Gandhi said that the matter was transferred to the Kangra police station as the hostel is located in its jurisdiction. “The accused has been booked under Section 377 of the IPC and investigations are on,” he said. CUHP vice-chancellor Kuldip Chand Agnihotri said the warden has been discharged of his duties with immediate effect and an internal probe has been ordered. “An inquiry panel will be constituted to investigate into the allegations levelled by students and appropriate action would be taken on the basis of its report,” he said.