The case of alleged harassment to 22-year old law student Umam Khanam seems to be almost settled after the committee constituted by the college closed the inquiry and revoked the suspension of the two students named in the complaint, reported Swarajya.
According to the report, the college committee closed the inquiry after the complainant did not appear before them to give her statement. Dr. Naresh Goyal, Executive director of the Dewan College, said that since four faculty members dedicated to the job were wasting their time by waiting for the complainant to turn up, the college had no option but to take the decision.
Speaking to Swarajya, Dr. Naresh Goyal said, “We made multiple calls to the complainant to appear before the committee and give her statement. But she never showed up. So we closed the inquiry today.”
Goyal also explained his reasons behind revoking the suspension of two students, “Exams are coming up. We cannot deny them their right to education. They deserved a fair inquiry, which couldn’t happen because the complainant did not come.” The college had also suspended the complainant pending inquiry on April 8th and this suspension also stands revoked, Goyal informed.
Goyal informed that the grievance cell had tried calling the complainant, but she handed over the phone to a woman. The next day, a woman and a man claiming to be the complainant’s siblings visited the committee. “But we did not entertain their statement as we wanted either the complainant or her parents to come,” said Goyal. “We made the siblings sign on the letter of revocation or suspension and handed them a copy.”
Reportedly, Swarajya spoke to one of the accused Ankur, who confirmed that he was called to the college and given the letter of revocation of his suspension, along with the other accused. However, he added that the complainant has been pressuring him to give a written apology to the college, after which she would withdraw the complaint. “But I have said no to this offer. I will not apologise for what I have not done,” he said.
On April 2, Umam Khanam had started a controversy after she had alleged that she was harassed by fellow students for being a Muslim during a college trip. Umam Khanam, in a series of tweets, had also claimed ‘victimhood’ stating that certain students under the influence of alcohol had harassed her.
She had claimed that the fellow students were carrying BJP caps which they were forcing her to wear and consequently, she was harassed after she refused to wear those caps. She also suggested that her Muslim identity played a role as she was the only person from the community in the entire group. She had further stated that the faculty had ignored the fact that students were harassing her despite being present right at the scene.
However, the teachers who had accompanied the students to the trip had refuted all the accusations and had denied any such incidents during the trip as claimed by the 22-year old Law student Umam Khanam.
Interestingly, Umam’s written complaint to the college had reportedly neither mentioned the ‘BJP cap’ angle nor the claim that she was harassed for being a Muslim.
A ground report by journalist Swati Goel Sharma, Swarajya, had revealed further interesting details regarding the incident as nearly 35 students, who are also the classmates of the alleged victim Khanam had shared their side of the story backed by clear facts.
Many students also came forward to give their testimonies to Swarajya stated that Umam is a “religious fanatic” who did this “to get into the good books of Shehla Rashid and Afra Khanum”. The students added that the 22-year old student had actually discriminated with a few of them for their beliefs and said that Umam has a grave contempt towards the BJP and Hindu nationalistic ideology. Several other students had expressed their views regarding Umam’s bigotry and referred to incidents when she had called for the lynching of PM Modi while referring Dawood Ibrahim as India’s ‘baap’.