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Sexual harassment: NAPM extends support to protesting Jamia students

By Our Representative
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) has extended solidarity with the students, mostly women, of the Jamia Millia Islamia, in their struggle against the Head of Department (HoD) of Applied Arts Department, who they allege is responsible for multiple reprehensible acts, including sexual harassment of students.
The students have been protesting for about 10 days on account of the reported sexual harassment, threats and intimidation they face at the hands of current HoD, and also on account of favouritism, backdoor entries and administrative irregularities allowed for and by this particular Professor.
NAPM said in a statement, what has complicated matters is that instead of standing by the aggrieved students and immediately addressing these grave complaints, the Jamia administration has largely ignored the severity of the incidents and the legitimate demands of the students. That the said Professor has been ‘sent on leave’ is not at all a justifiable response in the circumstances of the case.
"Shockingly", NAPM said, "It has also come to our notice that the protesting women students were physically and sexually assaulted few days back, on the orders of the same HoD! One of the students has been hospitalized. Unfazed by this, the women students continue their protest, even as students from different universities of the capital have joined the protest in rage and solidarity."
Calling upon the Jamia administration to immediately engage with the protesting students, NAPM said, it should consider their demands, fairly inquire into all the allegations and take prompt steps towards strict institutional and legal action against the HoD.
The statement has been signed by Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA); Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh of the, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information; Dr Binayak Sen of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, among others.

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