New Delhi, June 24: Launching a scathing attack on St. Stephen's College principal Valson Thampu for "maligning her academic career", the research scholar who was allegedly molested by a teacher in the college has said that he was only interested in defending his own staff.
"I have been a topper since my school. Just in order to divert the molestation charges against his staff member, he (Thampu) is trying to malign my image," she told IANS, reacting to his blog post.
She added that Thampu and the college administration were "too negligent to take pursuit of her complaint".
"I went to the principal and complained against the professor. Initially, I thought he is supporting me, but soon he proved to be defending his own staff," she said.
"I was molested time and again but how shall I prove it?"
"He (accused Satish Kumar) would never touch me in front of anyone. He used to do such acts when there was no one around," she told IANS in an exclusive interview on the day the human resource development ministry and the Delhi Commission for Women sought a report from the college and a day after a court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the chemistry department.
Two years after the alleged molestation, she said: "I have chosen to speak up, so that my conscience is satisfied."
She added that she was likely to get her statement recorded before a metropolitan magistrate at Tis Hazari court on Saturday.
The victim's parents had approached Thampu to take action against the professor in December 2014. However, the principal warned the student that taking up the issue would lead to a delay in completing her PhD.
"Initially, I did not file the case against him (the professor) because I knew my research would be impacted," she told IANS.
She alleged that the principal and the administration of the college have been shielding Satish Kumar, who was her guide for her Ph.D thesis.
As mentioned in the FIR filed by her, the victim said: "The principal tried to suppress the issue and asked me not to register the complaint as a molestation charge. He asked me to write it as an academic issue, but it was not so."
Her lawyer, Sunil Mathews, said Thampu had been trying to shield the accused.
"He (Thampu) is systematically trying to finish off her (student's) research work and Ph.D degree," Mathews told IANS.
He also said the principal had committed a crime by not pursuing the complaint immediately, and instead pressurising her to not make it a written complaint of molestation.
"It is illegal if the complaint is not taken care of immediately by the college principal. Thampu has instead pressurized the victim to think again on her decision to file the complaint," he said.
Mathews added that "this is the fourth such case in which Thampu is shielding the accused in a molestation case in his college".
(Ruwa Shah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)