IIT-Madras sexual assault case: Chennai Police arrest the prime accused after a year!

After a year since the sexual assault has come to light, a special team of Chennai Police has on Sunday - March 27 apprehended the prime accused of the case from West Bengal. The complaint was filed by a 30-year-old Dalit woman PhD scholar in March 2021 in which she has alleged that she was assaulted by eight people, including the prime accused Kingshuk Debsharma. She has alleged that the gang harassed her between 2016 and 2020. 

After a year of the complaint, the Chennai police have arrested Kingshuk Debsharma and he was taken into custody at Diamond Harbour police station in Kolkata. According to reports, Debsharma will be produced before a local magistrate in Kolkata on Monday to acquire the warrant of transit after which he will be brought to Chennai for further investigation. The woman has filed the complaint at the Mylapore All Women Police Station in March 2021. 

It has been reported that the FIR was however registered in June, three months after the complaint was filed. Shockingly, the FIR neither carried charges of rape nor the sections of the SC/ST Act, which is mandatory for the crimes committed against the Dalits and scheduled caste people. As the Chennai police have failed to proceed on the case, the affected woman has sent petitions to the National Commission for Women and SC/ST Commissions. In her detailed complaint, she has said that she has gone through body shaming, sexual harassment, and rape within the IIT-M campus. 

Ahead of filing a complaint to the Chennai Police, the woman scholar has moved her complaint to the Complaint Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CCASH) of IIT-Madras. The reports say that the interim report of CCASH has found that Kingshuk Debsharma, her fellow scholar, and three others are guilty of harassing her within the campus. The committee has also said that Debsharma has verbally and physically abused her. 

However, the police didn't take action and the committee has ordered the accused students to leave the campus and they will only be permitted inside the campus after the woman submits her thesis. The committee has also asked the guides to ensure that the accused people do not submit their thesis until the affected woman moved her thesis. 

IIT-Madras has said that the institution has followed all processes for investigating the matter of the student who has raised the matter of sexual harassment. IIT-M has also said that the institution has been extending its cooperation with the investigating authorities and the institute has extended all support to her during the external investigation. 

After major criticism, the Chennai police have formed a special team to nab the culprits and after a year of the complaint, the police have now arrested the prime accused in West Bengal and begun the process of bringing him to Chennai for further investigation.