Dalit Girl Victimised at Cochin University

Mukundan Menon
(Our Special Correspondent)

Thiruvananthapuram, February 19 : The hostel sex scandal at Cochin University for Science and Technology (CUSAT) took a new turn with Uma, a Dalit student of School of Legal Studies, raising allegations of being victimised for being a Dalit. “My name was deliberately dragged into the hostel issue since I tried to unite the Dalit students in the hostel to protest against the ill-treatment they were facing in the hostel”, said Uma, who too was sent out of the hostel.

The scandal broke out last month following allegations against the Hostel Matron, Ambujam Aravindan, with enticing girl inmates to entertain certain people in parties, etc. Those refused faced the wrath of the Matron and her coeterie. The matron has since been under suspension. The Kerala High Court, acting upon a public interest litigation, directed Asst. IGP, B. Sandhya, to investigate into the alleged incidents in CUSAT ladies hostel, “Aiswarya”, and file the report by February 28. The Court also directed to keep proceedings of her investigation confidentials.

Meanwhile, the CUSAT Registrar moved the High Court with a writ petition seeking permission to hold a domestic inquiry against the Matron. In its order on February 16, the High Court said that the University did not require the Court’s permission to conduct domestic inquiry against the Matron. “The Registrar is under the misapprehension regarding the nature of the proceedings pending before the Court and the orders issued to the Asst. IGP to hold the investigation”, the Court said. The Court also clarified that it had not passed any order regarding any disciplinary action taken against the matron. “The prayer of the Registrar was unwarranted as the domestic inquiry is within the powers of the employer. It is not for the Court to grant permission to conduct domestic inquiry”, the Court said.

There were allegations that the matron had patronage of higher-ups both within and outside the CUSAT campus. The impugned move of the Registrar, for example, was seen as a move to save the matron by scuttling the Asst. IGP’s inquiry as ordered by the Court. At the same time, the Matron has not yet been arrested, although her bail petition seeking anticipatory bail was rejected by another Bench of the High Court.

Source: www.ambedkar.org
Referred by:Mukundan Menon
Published on:
February 16, 2001
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