Students at SRM University Protest After Staff Masturbates at a Student

Students of SRM University at Kattankulathur area in the outskirts of Chennai staged a demonstration inside the day night, alleging inaction by the administration on a sexual harassment complaint by a woman student of the varsity.

Vice Chancellor Sandeep Sancheti, however, denied the allegations of inaction and said the administration would look into the complaint.

 “Students are discussing with us. Whatever the matter is, it will be taken care of. If there is a matter, it will be inquired,” Sancheti told PTI.

According to a third year software engineering student who took part in the protest, a second year undergraduate student of the university was allegedly sexually harassed by a male sanitation worker inside a women’s hostel lift on Thursday afternoon around 3 pm.

“The man masturbated in front of the woman student in the hostel lift, following which she reported the issue to the authorities,” the student told PTI.

According to another protester, the hostel warden, with whom the student had raised the issue, allegedly delayed access to the CCTV footage of the elevator and the registering of a complaint by over two hours.

“The employee was identified by the student in the CCTV footage. However she was asked to stay mum about the incident by the authorities,” the protester said, adding that the hostel authorities allegedly blamed the victim.

“Once the girl told the warden about the incidence, she was asked to first write a letter to be able to access the footage. Although there were no cameras in the lift, the girl was eventually able to identify the man. Despite all this, she was told that the man will return to hostel campus at 7pm,” said a student at SRM University.

“After 7pm, many girls reached the reception and demanded action to be taken. To that, many wardens responded saying-“You girls drink alcohol and smoke in the hostel. We know.” he added.

On another note, some students have also said that the protest has been conducted only to postpone exams in the University.

Local police officials who reached the protest spot told PTI that the protesters dispersed after assurances from the university administration to look into the matter.

However, they added that no complaint had been registered yet.

After the protest gained momentum, the VC decided to look into the matter.

(With PTI inputs)