Chennai: The sexual assault case of a female Dalit PhD scholar at IIT-Madras which was gathering dust for nine months, has now seen many developments in the last two weeks, the latest being the CB-CID taking over.
But not many know that it was Jai Bhim, that was the scholar’s beacon of hope when she was clueless on how to tackle the case. Her friends came to know about Justice Chandru and asked her to approach him.
It was Justice Chandru who patiently listened to the woman’s ordeal and drew the attention of senior officers towards the case. “Her friends brought her to me after watching Jai Bhim. She broke down several times while narrating her experience. Even after a new investigation officer was posted to deal with the case, there was slight development after which I asked them to approach the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA),” said Justice Chandru when contacted.
After AIDWA took up the matter, things sped up - the victim’s complaint was recorded afresh; Section 376 (rape) of IPC and SC/ST Act were included; the victim’s main guide was included as an accused; and now the CB-CID is investigating. “We have set the law in motion,” Justice Chandru added.
An AIDWA member told DT Next that the woman had wasted several days waiting to meet police officers. However, a cop, part of the investigation, claimed they did everything as per procedure, adding, everyone except the main accused Kingshuk Debsharma, cooperated. Another accused was abroad, so he did not appear for inquiry.
“The delayed complaint and lack of material evidence proved difficult to arrest the accused,” said the officer.
While AIDWA’s key demand of transferring the case to CB-CID has been met, they now want to hold IIT-Madras administration accountable for indirect threats to the woman.
“She has been asked to vacate the hostel citing her ‘mental agony’, but she feels that she might never be able enter the campus again if she leaves now,” the AIDWA member said.