No action yet against Visva Bharati professor in molestation case

Almost two months after a case of molestation was lodged against a Visva Bharati professor of agriculture statistics department, Siddhartha Deb Mukherjee, university authorities are yet to take any action against him, though an enquiry committee was formed to probe the matter.

Senior officials of the university said that though it was stated that the enquiry committee will submit the report within 14 days, it has not yet done so.

The girl, a PhD student who hails from Manipur, has completed her post graduation from the department at the Sriniketan campus of Visva Bharati and wanted to get herself admitted to the university as a research scholar.

On October 4, 2012 she had alleged that the professor had asked her to come to his chamber to download some research-related documents and later molested her. The victim had qualified in the written exams, but the interview was due. Before leaving Santiniketan, the girl had lodged a complaint with vice-chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta. Duttagupta forwarded the complaint to the panel headed by senior professor Sabujkali Sen to enquire into the matter. But till now the enquiry committee has failed to look into it.

Amrit Sen, spokesperson of Visva Bharati, however, said that he does not have any idea about whether the report has been placed before the V-C or not. I have to enquire about the matter, he added. The victim had also complained to the women's commission regarding the matter. Sunanda Mukherjee, chairperson of State Women Commission said that she has received the complaint and they will look into the matter.

The alumni association of Visva Bharati is also planning to send a letter to the Prime Minister and intimate him about the delay in action being taken.

Subodh Sarkar, a member of the association, said: "We will send a letter to the PM and urge him to take action against the accused."

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