Review Nepal News

Is Assam safe for women, a lady college teacher facing molestation 9 months back yet to get justice

Review Nepal--
  Kathmandu, Nepal      November 23 2017
Guwahati, November 23 : Is Assam safe for women, the question raised again after a lady college teacher yet to get justice, who was allegedly sexually abused by a college principal 9 months before.
According to the reports, the incident took place at Bilasipara college in lower Assam’s Dhubri district.
Reports said that, the IC principal of Bilasipara college named Raju Bordoloi, who also charged Principal of Chhaygaon college in Kamrup district, about 200 km away from Bilasipara had allegedly molested a lady teacher of the college on February 21 last and a case (no – 608/2017 under section 354 (A)/506 IPC) was registered at Bilasipara police station.
But, police has not taken any action against the accused principal of Bilasipara college.
The lady teacher said in his letter sent to the Director of Assam higher education on October 28 last that, Dr Raju Bordoloi, permanent and regular principal of Chhaygaon college in Kamru district had joined in Bilasipara college in Dhubri district as I/C principal on July 22, 2016 in an additional charge.
“After a few months from his joining, I gradually noticed that he started to be extra beneficent to me also started give me indecent proposals of accompanying him to Kaziranga sanctuary for a pleasure trip excluding both our families. As a result I started avoiding him and used to face him for any official purpose only when I had no other option. 
I could not reveal his indecent proposal of Kaziranga thinking of my honour and dignity. But I could feel and understand that Dr Bordoloi is keen on seeking opportunity to repeat the same. I became very careful in college and tried in every possible way to protect myself from him. On February 21, 2017, in the
second half of the day, I went to the washroom attached to the principal’s chamber (as there is no separate washroom facility for the female staff of the college and we are compelled to use that). 
He was not present in the college that day morning. But when I came out of the washroom, I saw himstanding right in front of me. He looked at me and immediately grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him saying that he wants me at any cost. I struggled to free myself and rushed out of his office chamber while I heard hi saying that he would own me whatever the situation be. I ran to my department and related the incident to one of my female colleague and she on hearing this came out with me to confront him but Dr Bordoloi was not
present in his chamber. 
He was enjoying himself with some professors of this college in a temporary tea stall of the college. So thinking of my dignity, we did not proceed. As there is no grievance cell or internal complaint committee in the college (contray to the existing guideline of the UGC) I along with some other female colleagues reported the matter to the local administration head, SDO (Civil). 
The SDO (Civil) conducted a magisterial enquiry and based on the enquiry report a complaint was lodged and a case of molestation was registered (case no -608/2017) against Dr Bordoloi on June 22, 2017 in Bilasipara police station. We too submitted our statements in this regard to the police station on August 6, 2017, but
till date we are deprived of justice. 
Instead of justice I along with other female colleagues have been served by show-cause notice by the president of governing body on September 18, 2017 for lodging complain to the SDO (Civil), Bilasipara Sub-Division,” the lady teacher said in her letter.
The lady teacher also said that, he is not a man of decent behaviour and misbehaves with me and some other female teachers after that incident with me with an explicit and rude exhibition of his power with scant respect to the decent mannerism as deem fit to an institution of learning.
“He is also involved in a scam of Day Care Centre scheme of UGC in Bilasipara college (2010). I am a tremendous mental pressure which has now affected not only physical and mental health, but also my family to a great extent. Torture is prevailing on us till date in full swing and we are suffering to the worst. His autocratic behaviour and torture on us sometimes pushes all of us to the extreme thought of ending our lives,” the lady teacher said.
It is to be mentioned that, SDO (Civil), Bilasipara Sub-Division, Dr MS Lakshmi Priya, an IAS officer directed the sub-divisional police office, Bilasipara on June 12 last by sending a letter (no – BCA-1/2017/339) that, as per report the lady teacher brought an allegation of molestation against the I/C principal, Bilasipara college and submitted a written statement before the executive magistrate, Bilasipara to conduct further investigation in the molestation case and take necessary action as per law.
The SDO (Civil), Bilasipara also submitted a report before the state government and urged to take necessary action against the accused principal as per law.
But, police has not taken any step against the accused person so far.
On the other hand, local people of Bilasipara alleged that, the local BJP MLA is in favour of the accused principal and the legislator is trying to mislead the allegation by using his power.
Meanwhile, the Director of higher education had initiated an inquiry committee headed by a joint director to probe the matter.
According to the reports of Assam home department that, over 9770 women were raped in the state in past five years, while over 15,570 women were molested during the period.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)