Chennai: Hundreds of students of the SRM Institute of Science and Technology protested on Thursday night after a girl student alleged that an employee of the university had masturbated in front of her but the college authorities reacted with indifference towards her complaint.
According to the protesting students, a second-year undergraduate student had taken the elevator to reach her room on the fourth floor of the hostel building around 3 pm on Thursday but to her shock, the sanitation worker, who was also inside the elevator, started masturbating at her.
As she tried to stop the elevator and get out, the man blocked her path. But she screamed, fought him off and ran out, looking for help, a student told News18.
The accused, 26-year-old Arjun, has been arrested after a senior warden filed a police complaint following the protests.
SRM University Vice Chancellor Sandeep Sancheti, however, denied the allegations of inaction and said the administration would look into the complaint. "Students are discussing with us. Whatever the matter is, it will be taken care of. If there is a matter, it will be inquired," Sancheti said.
According to another protester, the hostel warden, with whom the student had raised the issue, allegedly delayed access to the CCTV footage of the elevator and the registering of a complaint by over two hours.
"The employee was identified by the student in the CCTV footage. However she was asked to stay mum about the incident by the authorities," the protester said, adding that the hostel authorities allegedly blamed the victim.
“One of the first things that the warden told us was to change our clothes. She accused us of wearing short clothes implying that the girl deserved what she got,” said another student.
Local police officials who reached the protest spot said that the protesters dispersed after assurances from the university administration to look into the matter.
However, they added that no complaint had been registered yet. Videos of agitated girl students inside campus and a picture of the accused titled ‘He is the Culprit’ are being circulated on WhatsApp groups.