The students of Nalanda University held a mass protest today regarding the insensitive attitude of the interim Vice Chancellor Pankaj Mohan against multiple cases of sexual harassment which have been dealt in a reprehensible manner. Despite the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) recommendations of rustication of the accused student and hostel separation as an interim measure, the Vice Chancellor decided to keep the decision on hold. The VC has been suspiciously protective of the accused student and more concerned about his well-being, creating undue mental pressure on the complainants. Till now the students are still protesting outside the hostel in presence of SHO from Rajgir Police Station also demanding the immediate resignation of the Interim Vice Chancellor.
“The VC has been conciliatory in his attitude towards someone whose guilt has been proved by the ICC. Any delays in execution of ICC’s orders reveals the underbelly of the nepotistic attitude and sheltering of such accused persons within the University premises.” A student from the second batch of University told Maktoob Media. “Protest meeting in the Interim Campus tomorrow morning,” added another student from the second batch. ” The University is trying to protect its institutional brand by continuously saying sexual harassments doesn’t happen here”, the student from the first-year batch added.
We received a letter from collective students of Nalanda University. Here, it is:-
‘ We were invited to this university to be part of a total ambiguous vision in which everybody made fancy statements and fake promises. The reality hit us when there was an incident of molestation and that particular incident was justified by our senior professor/acting Vice Chancellor of the Nalanda University as “the university is in Bihar and Biharis are like that”. Our friend was asked to keep silent and was discouraged from the further proceedings. Even then the complaint was made through proper channels and ICC came up with their findings and recommendations. The most respected interim Vice Chancellor sat over the documents, worked in cahoots with the accused, and challenged ICC.
The accused fellow directly threatened the complainant and sent a life threat to the Officiating Registrar of the university. The complainant was forced to file an FIR individually. Interim Vice Chancellor, Dean of Historical Studies and Professor Mr. Pankaj Mohan did not come out in support. Instead of taking the responsibility of our entire community, the Interim VC in a conciliatory move, transferred the accused from one hostel to the other jeopardizing the safeguarding measures. We, the Student Community came out in protest and Interim VC accused us of harassing the teachers and himself at odd hours and asked us to focus on our academics. We received death threats in working hours including Registrar, but they denied filing an FIR as suggested by the lawyer appointed by the University. The interim VC suppressed the Registrar for saving his image and reputation of Nalanda University. Our nalandauniv.edu.in mail ids have been blocked and no emails can be received or sent through those channels.
We want redress, for everything that has happened to us, and we want it now before it is too late.’