Thampu’s flip-flop over molestation victim’s stipend
In a flip-flop, St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu, who had claimed that the PhD scholar who had alleged molestation by a professor was not given a part of her stipend, now says that “the girl never bothered to collect the cheques”.
When the girl had visited the college on July 16 to collect her cheque, she was denied the same, saying that the payment of her stipend has not been approved by her supervisor, who is alleged to have molested her.
Thampu, who was in Kochi then, had confirmed the same. “I had personally handed over the stipend cheque to her in December, the cheque in question now is for the next six months, which has not been issued as the documents need the signature of her PhD guide and he is not available as I had ‘advised’ him not to visit the college,” he had said.
However, Thampu on Friday last posted on his Facebook page, copies of two cheques issued on January 21 and March 9, maintaining that the college never refused to pay her the stipend but “she never bothered to collect the cheques”, and hence, they got cancelled.
“The complainant did not bother to collect them and they have expired. The same happened on the earlier occasion as well, when stipend for several months were not collected by her. Then, too, a complaint was aired in public that St Stephen’s was ‘penalising’ her by holding back her stipend! The truth then, as now, was that she did not collect the cheque,” he said.
The victim had approached police last month, alleging that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the college’s Chemistry department under whom she was pursuing her research. She had also accused college principal Valson Thampu of “shielding” the teacher when the matter was reported to him. The girl had also made public a set of recordings, which she claimed to have made during her meetings with the principal over the issue.
While Thampu, refused to comment on the contradictory statements made by him regarding the stipend, a group of alumni slammed the Delhi University (DU) and Supreme Council of St Stephen’s college for inaction against the principal.
“The contradictory statements made by Thampu clearly show that he has been all along lying through his teeth. His tone and tenor towards Human Resource Development Minister and Brinda Karat is disparaging. It is high time that the Delhi University and St Stephen’s Supreme Council take Thampu to task for deliberately misrepresenting facts in such a sensitive case,” the Old Stephanians Association, a body not recognised by college said.
In support of her claims, the girl has also released an audio recording to media, which contains the conversation between her and the accounts officer Kishori Lal, who had denied payment of her stipend saying it has not been approved by her supervisor.