Stephen’s molestation row: Thampu calls for CBI inquiry
St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu on Sunday sought a CBI probe into the alleged molestation of a research scholar, who has also accused him of shielding the accused.
<g data-gr-id="42">Thampu</g> had earlier claimed that “the victim is being used against him” and a forensic investigation of the “purported” recordings will clear the air.
“In view of the attempts by various agencies to spread confusion, compromise truth, mislead the public and scuttle justice, I, in my capacity as the Principal of St Stephen’s College request a full-fledged judicial inquiry under a sitting or retired Judge of the <g data-gr-id="54">Hon’ble</g> Supreme Court of India (in case of judicial inquiry) or CBI inquiry covering all aspects of the alleged sexual harassment matter,” Thampu said in a post on his Facebook page.
“I feel sorry for the victim. She is being misled and is being used against me by certain elements in the college only.
“She has admitted before media that she released the audio recordings as advised by a ‘teacher’,” Thampu said.
“She is not understanding that she is being guided or prompted by certain people to serve their ulterior purposes. The end of this can only be destruction because the truth cannot be hidden,” he added. The principal, however, did not comment on who those “certain people” are.
The research scholar, who has alleged she was molested by a college professor and <g data-gr-id="50">Thampu</g> had tried to shield him, approached police last week with four recordings that she claimed to have made during her meetings with the principal where had allegedly pressurised her to withdraw the complaint.
While <g data-gr-id="41">Thampu</g> is maintaining that the recordings have been “mischievously edited”, he said the editors did not do a good job.
“The purported tapes have statements contrary to allegations raised by the complainant against me. I am disappointed as a better job could have been done in editing the recordings.
“I have good reasons to believe that the truth will come out if the tapes are subjected to forensic investigation,” he added.
The complainant had approached the police on June 19, alleging that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in college’s Chemistry department. She had also accused Thampu of “criminally intimidating” her to give a written application to him expressing her consent to close the matter in college itself in order to not cause any delay or problems in completion of her PhD”.
While the demand for Thampu’s resignation over the issue is growing louder, HRD Ministry has asked UGC to ensure the probe is completed by college’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) “expeditiously” and “impartially”.
UGC officials said that they will closely monitor the proceedings of the ICC. The victim, however, has refused to appear before the ICC, saying she has no faith in its proceedings and hence she is seeking redress elsewhere.