Valson Thampu, Principal of St. Stephen's College in Delhi, on Sunday took to Facebook to describe the situation of the PhD student who had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against a teacher from the chemistry department as one worse than the recent lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri.
Stating that the student was a "hapless tool in the contrived sexual harassment plot hatched by those who think that fellow human beings are mere fodder", Thampu wrote that "for days" she was "worked upon", "coached" and "tutored". And now that "she is no longer of any use to her erstwhile handlers," she has been "put aside and forgotten like useless rags".
Comparing this episode with the Dadri lynching, he said, "How is this episode, may I make bold to ask, any better than the lynching of Mohammad Aklaq, close to the borders of the Metropolis? If anything, it is worse: much worse," he wrote in a lengthy post describing how the girl was used as a "hapless tool in the contrived sexual harassment plot".
"That lynching," he added, "was done by a frenzied mob of some 200 misguided, perhaps illiterate, nit-wits- victims of false propaganda and communal incitement. The smart guys who (metaphorically and existentially) 'lynched' this vulnerable, unsuspecting girl, in a state of desperation (the exact nature of which will, I hope, come to light some day), were highly educated (one of them a senior teacher in St. Stephen's College!) vandals, who crafted their subhuman plot of malice in cold blood. What about the media collaborators who knew all along this was all utterly bogus (as several of them said to me in private, repeatedly) but joined the chase in spurious valour under the familiar pretext (that even Eichmann offered for exterminating the Jews) of just "doing one's duty"? What about the reading/viewing public that lapped up the manifestly mendacious stuff as effete entertainment?"
Following a complaint by the doctoral student, who alleged that she had been "sexually assaulted" by the chemistry teacher on October 15, 2013, inside a laboratory, an FIR was lodged against the latter on June 19 this year on various charges, including stalking and sexual harassment.
The student had also criticised Thampu for "maligning her academic career" and she said that he was only interested in defending his own staff.
Responding to criticisms against him for his handling of the case, Thampu had reportedly gone to the extent of stating that "If I am a cause of embarrassment to the institution and it is objectively proved, I will put in my papers that very moment."