JNU: Sexual harassment complainants allege Prof Johri enjoys backing of BJP, RSS

The complainants in JNU who alleged sexual harassment by Professor Johri, further alleged that they are being “pressured” by supporters of Johri, who they claim enjoys the backing of BJP and RSS

NH photo by Vipin
NH photo by Vipin

Vikrant Jha

Six out of eight complainants from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who have alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Professor Atul Johri, say they are from the RSS-affiliated student group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

At a press conference on the JNU campus on Wednesday, the eight woman research scholars claimed that they were being “pressured” by supporters of Professor Johri, who they claim enjoys the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS.

“The accused, who is a vocal supporter of the BJP/RSS, has said that we are Left supporters and it is a political conspiracy. While the truth remains that many of us are registered members and supporters of the ABVP,” a press statement issued by the complainants on Wednesday says.

The academic was granted bail in all eight cases of sexual harassment by Delhi’s Patiala House court on Tuesday, a day after the scholars approached Delhi’s Vasant Kunj Police Station with the complaints.

“Delhi Police did not even seek remand of the accused for further interrogation. The JNU administration has so far not taken any action against him. They even have not acknowledged the fact that we have already approached them to suspend him as well as that FIRs have been lodged and Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has sent them notices,” the press statement says.

A complainant informed reporters at the press conference that they would seek their lawyer’s advice on when they will appeal the Patiala House ruling in the High Court.

NH photo
NH photo
The press release issued by the complaints against JNU’s Professor Atul Johri

The eight complainants have further alleged that the “excuse of attendance” was being given to give the issue a “political colour.” In his bail plea, the academic has reportedly alleged vendetta from girl students since he communicated to them their unsatisfactory attendance in classes.

The complainants have further lamented the lack of sensitivity towards sexual harassment, saying that they had been hoping the “discourse around sexual harassment had taken a significant turn” after the December 16 movement, which broke out after the Delhi gangrape case, dubbed ‘Nirbhaya’ case by the media.

They said in the press statement, “We were shocked the way the accused received bail yesterday.”

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