CHENNAI: Kotturpuram police on Tuesday arrested a 24-year-old canteen worker, Chandan Kumar for sexually assaulting a student in IIT-Madras campus. The arrested person is a native of Bihar and works in a juice stall in the campus, police said. He has been booked under Section 354 A (sexual harassment) and Tamil Nadu Woman Harassment Act.
The student was attacked on the night of July 24 on the dirt road connecting NAC (New academic complex) and the hospital road inside the campus. The complaint letter by the student’s friend detailed that the harasser seemed to be in his late 20s and was most likely a construction worker.
“It was sheer luck that my friend managed to escape this vile encounter, which could have ended much worse. She returned to the hostel alone, shaking and bleeding. It was horrifying to hear of this incident, and the rest of us students feel uncertain of our safety on the premises, ” read a complaint by the survivor’s friend.
Earlier, in a media statement, IIT-M said that they are probing into the incident and the management had conducted an identification parade of 35 contract workers and showed the CCTV footage to identify the accused.
In connection with the incident, the Dean in a mail appealed students to follow a ‘Buddy System’, which means moving with friends inside the campus for safety purposes.
In the email, the Dean stated that the security section came to know about the incident on July 26 morning at around 9 am, followed by which, a thorough investigation was put in place.
Subsequently, the email read, “We would like to appeal to students to follow certain protocols when someone is visiting outside their hostel during night hours.”
Besides the approach of ‘Buddy System’, the Dean in the mail appealed students to avail bus service by contacting the security section if students are to return late to the hostel from laboratory work. “The bus transport service is available to the female students between 7 pm and 2 am, ” added the email.