Molestation row: St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu threatens to quit

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Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh
Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh

Facing criticism over mishandling of the research scholar molestation case, St Stephen’s Principal Valson Thampu, said that, he would resign if it was proved that “he was the cause of embarrassment to the institution”.

The 27-year-old research scholar who has accused a St Stephen’s lecturer of molesting her, said that the principal, Valson Thampu, must resign if she has to get justice. While  Thampu, who is facing the demand for resignation by both Delhi University administration and the Human Resource Development ministry, following allegations of pressurising the victim to withdraw her complain, said that he had full faith in Delhi police and slammed the “extra-judicial pressure”.

Reportedly, in the FIR lodged on June 19, the doctoral student said that college lecturer Satish Kumar, also the college’s bursar, “sexually assaulted” her on October 15, 2013, inside a laboratory. The demand for the principal’s resignation was echoed by the Association of Old Stephanians which said Thampu “instead of supporting the victim tried to hush up the matter”.

The victim has also released four audio clips, which she said to have recorded secretly during her meeting with the principal,  wherein Thampu is allegedly asking her to withdraw the complain that she has lodged against the lecturer.

Declining all allegations against himself,  Thampu has claimed that the recordings are false and the victim is being used to trap him by “certain elements” in the college. Although he did not disclose who those “certain elements” are.

The Delhi High Court stayed the arrest of St Stephen’s College professor Satish Kumar, accused of sexually assaulting the PhD scholar, until August 17, when the next hearing is scheduled. However, the court issued a notice to the police and asked them to file a status report on the investigation in the case. The court also asked Kumar to join the investigation, when asked by police.

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