While the family said the doctor had apologised, they also alleged pressure from neighbours in the building to not take the case any further.

CCTV footage showing a man in blue shirt urinating outside a house in ChennaiFile Image
news Controversy Sunday, July 26, 2020 - 10:21

Hours after Chennai police registered a case against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) president Dr Subbiah Shanmugam for harassing his neighbour who was living alone, the woman has withdrawn her complaint. According to her family, the doctor apologised to her on Saturday night for his actions. The family also alleged pressure from neighbours in the building to not take the matter any further.

Police confirmed to TNM that the case has now been withdrawn by the woman. “Withdrawal letter has been given to us but we will have to continue our investigation since the FIR has been filed,” an investigating official told TNM.

The family had alleged that the doctor urinated near the entrance of her home and threw garbage there. They approached the police first with CCTV camera visuals on July 11, seeking action against Subbiah.

However, police registered the First Information Report (FIR) almost two weeks later, only on July 25, following public outrage on social media. The CSR (Community Service Register), to acknowledge their complaint, in fact, was given a week after they filed their complaint, on July 18.

"The Apartment association too is telling my aunt that they should just talk this out. Her neighbour, who helped with evidence collection earlier has also advised her to let the case go," says Balaji, the woman's nephew who had lodged the complaint. "My aunt doesn't want to antagonise everyone. Subbiah came to her house last evening and said they can reach a mutual understanding," he adds.

Adambakkam police on Saturday registered a case against Subbiah, who is a surgeon and heads the Department of Surgical Oncology at Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai. He was booked under Section 271 (Disobedience to quarantine rule), Section 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under sections of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Women Harassment Act.

After finding garbage at their doorstep, the family installed a CCTV camera outside their entrance on July 10, based on suspicions that Subbiah was upset over a previous argument they had over a car park arrangement.

CCTV visuals caught around 8.30 pm on the same day had shown a man in a blue shirt, alleged to be Subbiah, urinating just outside her doorstep. The family alleged that the harassment began soon after the woman charged Subbiah Rs 1,500 per month for using her vacant parking space in the building.

Dr Subbian had denied the allegations and told TNM that the CCTV footage was doctored. "This is a social media trial. I never put any waste on their door or harassed my neighbour in any way," he had said. 

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