JNU student on indefinite strike against 'inaction' over sexual harassment complaint

JNU: The student demanded the immediate restrainment of one of the accused, cancellation of the registration of the accused, out-of-bound order for former students.

The complainant also expressed displeasure over the involvement of JNUSU in addressing the matter. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)The complainant also expressed displeasure over the involvement of JNUSU in addressing the matter. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Press Trust of India | April 2, 2024 | 07:49 AM IST

NEW DELHI: A female student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University has started an indefinite strike at the main gate of the campus, alleging inaction by its administration over her sexual harassment complaint against four people. She alleged that she was sexually harassed on the night of March 31 on the campus by four people, including two former students. The university administration has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The complainant, however, claimed that the “perpetrators” of the crime were roaming around freely. "It has been more than 30 hours since I first filed the complaint and no action whatsoever has been taken yet. There have been a bunch of formalities; my friends and I have been at the administration, leaving our classes, demanding justice, and doing all we can, while the perpetrators are roaming freely," she claimed.

The university, meanwhile, said it was following the due process. "We are following the due process which takes time. We also have to give a chance to the accused to provide their defence," JNU Chief Proctor Sudhir Kumar told PTI. The complainant further raised concerns over her safety and security on the campus.

"It must be known that the person who harassed me and my friend resides in the same hostel as I do, and I am expected to go into the same hostel, the same corridors, the same mess, to face that person who has caused me such mental harassment." The chief proctor had earlier said that the two ex-students facing the allegations have been declared "out-of-bounds from campus".

JNU sexual harassment case

The complainant also expressed displeasure over the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union’s (JNUSU) involvement in addressing the matter and said she decided to start the protest after seeing its ineffectiveness. “After witnessing the ineffectiveness of the JNUSU, I decided to take the matter into my own hands. They went to meet the proctor without the survivor while I and my friends were busy in formalities with the administration …," she said.

The student demanded the immediate restrainment of one of the accused from Sabarmati Hostel, cancellation of the registration of the accused, out-of-bound order for the former students and steps to ensure safety her safety, as well as that of her friends.

The purported incident took place when the complainant and a friend were taking a walk near the JNU Ring Road around 2 am, a university official said. They were allegedly followed by four people, including two students who had already graduated, in a car. These people allegedly sexually harassed the female student, the official said.

The Left-led students' union has alleged that the four people, including the two former students, belong to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP, however, denied the allegation and claimed that it was being falsely implicated.

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