“Charges of harassment of a female student is not such a big deal in my case as I liked her," he said.

I like her I stalk her Indian scientist in US offers bizarre defence for harassing his studentImage for representation
news Stalking Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 14:51

In yet another case of stalking and harassment being considered legitimate ways of pursuing a romantic interest, an Indian scientist detained in the US said his actions were ‘no big deal’ for he ‘liked’ the girl.

Tarun K Bhardwaj, a 38-year-old nuclear scientist, was working at A&M University in Texas when he was detained for harassing and stalking a woman student in December 2016. He was also charged with preventing a police officer from carrying out his duty. He has been lodged in Brazos County Detention Centre in Texas, since.

However, Tarun has alleged that he is a victim of racial discrimination and that he had been “framed” for shedding light on “high level corruption”. Speaking to Sandeep Rai of TOI, he added, “Charges of harassment of a female student is not such a big deal in my case as I liked her."

Officials from the Indian Consulate in Houston said that this was not the first time that Bhardwaj was charged for such acts. The officials added that he would be deported to India after the necessary court proceedings.

According to IB Times, Bhardwaj had been working at A&M University as an assistant research scientist, specializing in "chemical characterisation of special nuclear materials, separation of fission products from spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste".

He was arrested in 2015, between January and August on harassment charges. According to The Asian Age, this is the fifth time Bhardwaj has been detained, “and every time he has been booked for harassing the same female student, which is a serious charge”. 

He also allegedly violated surety bonds he had signed. Bhargwaj had also been given a GPS ankle monitoring device to wear at all times. However, he allegedly removed it illegally, leading to his arrest.

Bhardwaj’s family in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh meanwhile, also says that he is a victim of conspiracy motivated by racism and jealousy. Prasoon Bhardwaj, Tarun’s elder brother, said that Tarun was being targeted because he refused to withdraw the charges of corruption that he apparently exposed, leading to his dismissal and arrest.

Their father, Ram Krishan Bhardwaj said that his younger son was being victimised for his “meteoric rise in the field” by jealous contemporaries.

Indian consular officers have denied these allegations of racism. “There are hundreds of students and researchers from India at A&M University but not a single incident of racial discrimination has been reported,” they said.

They added that their investigation revealed that Bhardwaj was not a favourite among other Indians at the institute as well. “Indians at the University prefer to stay away from him because of his behaviour," the officials said.

Tarun Bhardwaj holds a PhD from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and reportedly left for the US to work as a researcher in 2007.

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