Crime
One of the complainants said that she was not given her report card for not giving into his advances.
Representational image Leon israel via WIkimedia Commons

Four PhD scholars of the Fourth Paradigm Institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-4PI) in Bengaluru have alleged that they were sexually harassed by their principal scientist, Imtiyaz Ahmed Parvez.

The 49-year-old scientist was arrested on Friday and was out on bail on the same day after Marathahalli police registered a case under Section of 354 A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code. Other faculty members of the Institute were also questioned.

The complaint was lodged at the City Police Commissioner’s office after VS Ugrappa, the Chairman of the Expert Committee on Prevention of Sexual Violence against Women and Children in Karnataka informed the City Police Commissioner,

One of the complainants also said that she was not given her report card for not giving into his advances. They also said that Parvez would call them individually at his chamber and “stare at them and try to touch them inappropriately”, reported Deccan Herald.

The four women, aged between 27 and 31, has alleged that Parvez, also their research coordinator, had been sexually harassing them for the past one year.

Following this, the complainant had approached the institute head but was unhappy with two subsequent internal probes.

“Following the complaint, an internal committee was formed to enquire the allegations made against the 49-year-old senior scientist of the centre. The committee, which did a detailed inquiry, could not prove the allegations by the four students. The committee submitted a report to the CSIR head mentioning that the allegations could not be proved,” Abdul Ahad, DCP (Whitefield) told Bangalore Mirror.

The complainants had then written a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office as the Institute comes under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. After the letter failed to elicit a response, they approached former Chief Secretary J Alexander, who is a relative of one of the victims.

Alexander, in turn, approached MLC  VS Ugrappa, the chairman of the Expert Committee on Prevention of Sexual Violence against Women and Children, who then informed the police commissioner.

Initial probe has found the institute has not formed the Supreme Court manded Vishaka Committee to report sexual crimes internally.