Tainted members running JU’s Sexual Harassment committee

Jammu, November 26: On one hand, Jammu University claims of having policies and procedures to provide an environment that is free from sexual harassment and sexual assault, while on the other, the Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) constituted by the university authorities to probe and punish culprits in sexual harassment cases in the university is alleged to consist of a member already accused of running a sex racket on the campus (through anonymous letters).

As per reports in The Tribune, the members of CASH comprised two senior faculty members, two postgraduate students, a woman officer and a woman staff member, two wardens of girls hostels, five representatives from various employees’ associations, eminent woman academician from outside the university, woman representative of an NGO and a woman counsellor. This 16 member committee was constituted by University authorities on June 25 for a period of one year.

The sources say that the members of CASH are always reluctant in sharing even the basic information as to how many complaints of sexual harassment so far have been received by the committee through the students, scholars and even faculty members of JU because of which the committee has come under a scanner.

Further, the sources have also claimed that some member of CASH are themselves alleged of being involved in  the cases of sexual harassment. An anonymous letter was circulated among heads of various academic departments on the campus on October 23, 2013 which says, “eight faculty members from various departments and a Class-IV employee are running a sex racket on the campus and subjecting research scholars and faculty members to sexual harassment.”

At that time, the case was forwarded to the Crime Branch for an in-depth investigation which resulted in the termination of the then Dean, Students Welfare (DSW). But later the case was withdrawn from the Crime Branch, courtesy “tremendous pressure” from a “particular lobby” of teachers as they were accused of sexually exploiting girl students on the campus.

One senior professor of JU also said that the higher university authorities are shielding the culprits.

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