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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

SFI CONDEMNS INSENSISTIVITY OF PONDICHERRY UNIVERSITY AUTHORITIES

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                                                  Press Release:                                  13.11.2013

Two girl students of Pondicherry University who were threatened of sexual assault and subjected to ragging lodged a complaint with the University authorities. The University preferred to divert the issue by terming issue as group clash. The University has not bothered to look into the complaint from the perspective of sexual harassment, but has been repeatedly attempting to cover-up the issue by resorting to false propaganda. The Public Relations Officer has been issuing statements in an attempt to carry forward the ‘tale‘of group clash through the media. Mrs. Renuka Appdurai, former Education Minister who has assumed a new role as the self appointed spokesperson of the University has been repeatedly telling that various committees are at work to look into the complaints of students including the complaint of sexual harassment. The Students Federation of India wishes to prove certain facts on the following points or questions raised by the PRO and the new spokesperson.

Spokesperson (Mrs. Renuka Appadurai): Why the students have not lodged a complaint to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee?

SFI: The affected students have lodged a complaint with The Vice-Chancellor and The Registrar who are learned professors and women. Why they have not forwarded the complaint to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee, if it is functional? Why these authorities expect the complaints to be lodged only with Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee? This shows the utter insensitivity of the University authorities.
PRO: There is no ragging,  it was group clash.

SFI: The Director, SE I& RR, Pondicherry University in his Press statement on 05.10.2013, had stated the same. The fact being the Committee appointed under the Chairmanship of the Director, SEI & R R Pondicherry University, enquired about the complaint and submitted its report only on 14.10.2013. How come the University had come to the conclusion that it is an incident of group clash and not that of ragging even before it had conducted a thorough enquiry to ascertain the facts? This exposes the designs of the University to cover up the matter and to phoo phoo it.

Further the SFI wishes to remind the University authorities that the Honourable Chief Justice of India has observed on 12.11.2013 (as reported in the media on 13.11.2013 ) ‘the cases of sexual  harassment cannot be taken lightly’. It is a shame that Pondicherry University authorities are still treating the complaint of sexual harassment ‘as lightly as possible’ by not only raising frivolous questions through the media and planting false stories, but also by punishing the complainant  and her friends for having risen to defend the dignity of womenhood.

The Students Federation of India, on behalf of the student community, demands immediate revocation of suspension of students and institution of a committee by MHRD and UGC to enquire afresh on the complaints of sexual harassments in Pondicherry University.
                                                                                                                                   S.Arun Kumar,                                                                                     A.Anand,                                                                                                      State President SFI                                                                        State Secretary SFI 

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