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Sexual assault claims hit IIT-B, send shockwaves

Published : Jun 20, 2018, 3:35 am IST
Updated : Jun 20, 2018, 3:43 am IST

IT-B has zero tolerance for such activities. We take steps as quickly as possible and this matter is definitely to be looked into.

IIT Bombay
 IIT Bombay

Mumbai: A Facebook page created by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) students has sent shockwaves on the campus of the city’s premiere education institute.

After a male student narrated an incident of sexual assault he encountered on the page ‘IIT Bombay Diaries-Confessions’, several other students ope-ned up on the page either supporting the complainant or giving their own accounts of sexual assault. The college adm-inistration, however, has stated that action can only be taken if a formal complaint is lodged.

The students posting their ‘confessions’ on the page have raised their voice against a particular graduate student who allegedly sexually ass-aulted junior students on the institute’s campus.

According to Soumyo Mukherjee, dean of student affairs, IIT-B, nothing can be done unless a student lodges a formal complaint with the administration or the police. “IIT-B has zero tolerance for such activities. We take steps as quickly as possible and this matter is definitely to be looked into,” he said. The victims have claimed that they did approach the administration but no action was taken.

After India's premier technology institute was rocked by on-campus sexual assault claims, students have been seeking intervention by the administration in the matter.

In fact, the studentsclaimed, a committee was appointed by the institute to look into their complaints. The students said they took to the social media to shame the alleged culprit in public as there was no action taken against him by the concerned authorities.

According to sources, the student who first raised the complaint on the page initially contacted the administration of the institute.

However, he alleged that there was no positive response from the administration. Hence, he decided to take it to the social media page. According to students whom this newspaper contacted, the accused student was a senior and he managed the institute’s cultural festival ‘Mood Indigo”.

“His role was to guide new students with regard to academics and professional skills. This is when he first interacted with a couple of students, one of them being the one who was assaulted,” said a student, on the condition of anonymity.  In anonymous posts on the Facebook page, the accused has been termed a

‘harasser’ and ‘molester’ and most of the students ‘fell in his trap’ as he usedto claim he was a ‘loner’ and someone who needed ‘emotional support’ from people. One of the confessionread, “He said he needed a brother to talk to. Then he hugged me and forced me to lie down on his bed. And then he kissed me. I just froze. I repeat — I had not imagined this to happen ever in my life.”

Tags: indian institute of technology bombay (iit-b), mood indigo, professional skills, soumyo mukherjee