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Chamling, PD Rai condemn Visva Bharati University incident

Gangtok : Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and MP PD Rai have strongly condemned the shameful incident at the Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan where a girl student from Sikkim was harassed by some senior boy students. The senior students allegedly took pictures of the girl after stripping her of her clothes with the intent to blackmail her. On his Facebook page, the chief minister has said, “I am deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident of physical harassment of a girl from Sikkim studying in the highly esteemed Visva Bharati University. The disgrace and pain inflicted on the innocent girl is unacceptable and deplorable. We strongly condemn this shameful and brazen act by her seniors.” He further said the state government will take all necessary steps to provide justice to the victim and her family and ensure their reputation and dignity does not get tarnished. “We bear zero tolerance towards such heinous acts as Sikkim is a land where our women and daughters are highly respected and lead dignified lives,” Chamling added. 

He has requested the college authorities to take appropriate action against the culprits at the earliest. Echoing the chief minister, Sikkim MP PD Rai issued an official press statement that read, “I strongly condemn the horrific harassment of the woman student from Sikkim at Vishwa Bharti University in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. It is highly shocking that such a renowned institute has failed to provide a safe environment for its women students. The callous attitude of the university's authorities towards the victim and her father, as reported widely by the media, is deplorable.” Rai further informed he has already called on his counterpart, Anupam Hazra, MP from Bolpur Constituency, where the varsity is located. Hazra has extended his full support and assured authorities would take the strongest action against the perpetrators. 

“The university has already expelled three students and has also registered an FIR against them. We will work together to take up this matter at the highest level to ensure speedy justice is delivered to the young Sikkimese student,” added Rais’ statement. Meanwhile, authorities of Visva Bharati University today lodged a police complaint against four persons, including three students, in connection with the alleged harassment of the girl student from Sikkim. Bolpur sub-divisional OC Suryaprasad Yadav said the university has lodged a complaint against three Kalaa Bhavan (school of fine arts) students and "an unknown outsider". "We have initiated an investigation after receiving the complaint," he added.

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