Friday, December 8, 2023

NEHU official faces molestation charge


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VC asked to sack assistant sports director for improper advances at a woman football referee

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Nov 20: NEHU Vice Chancellor Prabha Shankar Shukla is under pressure to act against assistant sports director Nantu Das who allegedly molested a woman football referee at the Kiang Nangbah old guest house on Sunday.
The referee was requested by NEHU to accompany the women’s football team of the university which will take part in the inter-university tournament to be held in Odisha next week.
The NEHU unit of the Khasi Students’ Union asked the VC to immediately suspend Das and relieve him from his assignments. The NEHUSU demanded the termination of Das’s service.
“The VC has two days’ time to examine the action to be initiated against Das. We will resort to protest if the VC fails to act,” the KSU’s NEHU unit president, Sandy Sohtun told reporters after meeting Shukla on Monday.
He said Das had gone to pick the victim up from Umshyrpi without any permission. “She was asked to report on a Sunday, which is not a working day,” he added.
The victim was taken to the Kiang Nangbah old guest house where Das allegedly tried to molest her, Sohtun said. “The victim resisted and managed to escape from the clutches of the accused,” he added.
He said the members of the union rushed to the old guest house and found only the victim as Das had escaped by then. “We were told that he asked the police to escort him to the Mawlai police station,” he said.
Sohtun said the members of the victim’s family later took the decision to file an FIR.
“At the police station, we found the assistant sports director in the custody of the police. The victim was then taken for a medical examination by the police according to the procedure,” he said.
Demanding the immediate removal of Das, the NEHUSU said in a statement: “We appeal to the student community to come together in unity and in rage against the disgraceful acts of sexual violence. Let us make it clear that we refuse to normalise rape culture in this campus, that we uncompromisingly fight to uphold gender justice.”
NEHUSU general secretary Rudolf Carey Chyne told reporters that the accused was arrested on Sunday. He said the members of the union met the parents of the victim and lodged an FIR against the accused.
A NEHUSU delegation also met the VC to demand exemplary action against Das.
“The removal of the accused is not only an act of justice for the survivor but also a crucial step in safeguarding the safety, security, and welfare of the students, employees, and the entire community of the university and the broader public,” Chyne said.
Superintendent of Police (City) Vivek Syiem said the accused has been booked under Section 341/354 A (1) (i) /376/511 of the IPC.
He further informed that the accused has been remanded in judicial custody.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Football Association (MFA) on Monday demanded immediate removal of the accused for allegedly molesting a woman referee.
Expressing concern over the incident, MFA president, Hamletson Dohling said the university authorities should take stringent action against Das for outraging the modesty of a woman and termed the act highly condemnable.
He further said that the university should initiate action to set an example to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

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