Tura(Meghalaya), July 5: The Mothers’ Union today expressed its doubts of whether an investigation into the now famous College of Community Science, Central Agricultural University at Sangsanggre would be fair.
Two victims, one a security guard and another a medical nurse were apparently forced to work in various capacities beyond their duties, which including household chores for the Dean, Pushpita Das, as well as sexual favours since the past few .
The complainants through their FIR had stated that Das had asked them to spend nights in her quarter within the campus do household chores for her including massaging her private parts.
“On receiving the complaint, we took immediate action in supporting the victims by writing to the VC requesting the immediate suspension of the Dean. We are not happy that she is still holding the position despite the demand for her suspension by the Chairperson of the Assembly’s Committee on Women’s empowerment, Madam Ampareen Lyngdoh and the Mothers’ Union,” said the MU.
“The blatant disregard by the Vice Chancellor of the University is a clear indication of their callous attitude,” they said.
According to sources, the University has constituted an investigating committee that has started its investigation in the campus.
“This investigation does not hold any water when the accused is very much present in the place of investigation, still holding her position of influence? It is doubtful that free and fair investigation will be carried out by the presently constituted Investigating committee,” felt the MU.
They further added that the ICC (Internal Complaint Committee) was constituted by the accused herself and summoned the aggrieved victims for questioning without any written complaints received from the victims.
“It is very disturbing to learn further that the ICC had forced them to write a petition addressed to them in their presence only after summoning them. It is obvious then that the ICC is unaware of the guidelines of sexual harassment at workplace that is laid down,” asserted the MU.
As per law, in cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act, 2013, when the complaint is against the employer himself/herself, the complaints will not be entertained by the ICC but by the LCC (Local Complaints Committee) of which the District Commissioner is the Chairperson. In this light, the investigation by the ICC will be null and void, they stated.