Published: 21st March 2018
Dear Atul Johri, even ABVP members complained about your sexual harassment
The complainants have said that they are also registered members of the ABVP and the accused professor should stop calling the issue a political agenda
During the hearing at the Delhi magistrate court on Tuesday, JNU professor Atul Johri had said that the sexual harassment allegations made against him by the students were politically motivated. He called the whole issue a "political conspiracy". Well, the professor can no more make this claim because the victims have come forward to say that many of them are, in fact, registered ABVP members themselves.
The JNU Students Union organised a conference on Wednesday and issued a joint statement made by eight women students who had filed FIRs against the professor. In the statement, the students said that they were under a lot of pressure to withdraw their complaints by various sources. The professor had previously claimed that the students were out to get him because he supported the administration's new attendance policy - "There is no relation between attendance and sexual harassment. The truth remains that many of us are registered members and supporters of ABVP. We want that this case be taken as a serious case of sexual harassment and no political undertone should be given to this," the student said in the statement.
Speaking about the harrowing experience of registering the complaints, the students said that they were only allowed to file the FIR six hours after they made the complaints, "We went to the Vasant Kunj police station on March 16 with multiple complaints but even after six hours only one FIR was lodged. After immense pressure, the police registered the other FIRs separately two days later." The students said that they were "appalled" that the professor was given a bail so easily when they themselves had been harassed for merely trying to file a complaint. "We are forced to question whether sexual harassment is considered sufficiently serious in our society. Who is the police and the administration trying to protect?" the students asked.
"We have taken immense courage to come and speak up. We have put our academic career, personal and professional life at stake. If we didn't speak up now, the situation would not change and other female students would have had to endure the same experiences," the victims said.
Despite the relentless protests by the students and the fact that the Delhi Commission for Women has also directed the University to take swift action, the University hasn't taken any steps in that regard. The JNU VC continues to remain silent on the issue and the administration has failed to show any signs of suspending the professor.