A rickshaw puller, who is the lone eyewitness in the alleged sexual harassment case recently reported from University Business School (UBS) at Panjab University (PU) involving department chairperson AK Vashisht and another faculty member, Dinesh Gupta, appeared before the sexual harassment committee at the university on Tuesday. The eyewitness, however, refused to sign the statement he gave to the committee.
Vashisht and Gupta have been booked by the UT police for allegedly sexually harassing an assistant professor at the department. Meanwhile, a simultaneous inquiry into the matter is on at the university.
The members of the sexual harassment committee had a hard time in pursuing the complainant to present an eyewitness in the case. However, the entire exercise seems to have failed after the eyewitness refused to sign his statement.
According to sources, the committee did not find the statement of the eyewitness true as he faltered a number of times and the committee also recorded contradictions in his story.
Further, there were several holes in the eyewitness' version and at the end he refused to sign the statement. The committee is almost through with the inquiry and will most likely submit the report on Friday.
Before this, the committee had questioned nine individuals from the UBS, including gardener and a peon. Reportedly, they all had supported Vashisht and Gupta in their statements to the committee and had stated that the entire story seems to have been concocted by the complainant.
The complainant told HT that her eyewitness was being pressured by the committee members. "My eyewitness did not sign the statement because he was being asked to sign on a blank paper. When he came out from the room, he was crying and told me that the committee members were trying to click his pictures. The committee seems to be working under pressure of senators. Till date, the V-C office has not informed me about the rules on the basis of which this committee is functioning, inspite of my four requests to the committee," she said.