[CCTV image of the accused as posted by some students.]
Chennai: Students of SRM University at Kattankulathur area in the outskirts of Chennai staged a demonstration inside the campus Thursday night, alleging inaction by the administration on a sexual harassment complaint by a girl student of the varsity.
According to the messages posted on Twitter by a number of students, a garbage cleaner masturbated in the hostel lift in front og a girl student. The matter was reported to the authorities immediately. But, no action was taken, students alleged.
"A garbage man employed by the hostel masturbated in front of a 2nd year girl inside the M block hostel lift at 3 pm on 22nd November which was immedaitely reported by the girl at the reception", a student wrote on Twitter.
"She checked the CCTV footage and the man was identified by her. She was also told to stay mum about the matter and not publicise it by the hostel management", the student added.
"However, despite this being a criminal offence, the police has still not been notified about the incident. It is the belief of all the girls in the hostel that the management is responsible to file an FIR against the said man", the student said.
Sharing the details about the incident, another student wrote, "At 3 pm today, a girl entered the hostel lift. Present in the lift was a garbage man who began masturbating in front of her. When the girl tried to escape to the next floor, the man blocked her way."
"When the girl filed a complaint at the hostel reception, she was asked to keep quiet about the matter. Once the girl told the warden about the incident, she was asked to first write a letter to be able to access CCTV 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 the hostel campus at 7:00 pm", the student wrote.
Students have alleged that the director of the university has maintained that such "things happen to girls because they are north Indians who dress dirty, and smoke and drink".
"After 7:00 pm, 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."", the student added.
SRM University Vice-Chancellor Sandeep Sancheti, on the other hand, 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 news agency PTI.
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