Is Assam safe for women? A lady college teacher, who reported sexual abuse by a college principal around 9 months back, was yet to hear from the authorities and get justice.
According to the reports, the incident took place at Bilasipara college in lower Assam’s Dhubri district. Reports said that, the in-charge principal of Bilasipara college named Raju Bordoloi, who was also in-charge of Chhaygaon college in Kamrup district, about 200 km away from Bilasipara, had allegedly molested a lady teacher of the college on February 21.
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, in a letter sent to the director of Assam higher education on October 28, said that Raju Bordoloi, principal of Chhaygaon college, had joined the Bilasipara college as in-charge principal (additional charge) on July 22.
“After a few months from his joining, I gradually noticed that he started to be extra beneficent to me. He started to give me indecent proposals of accompanying him to Kaziranga sanctuary for a pleasure trip. 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 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 morning. But when I came out of the washroom, I saw him standing 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 him saying that he would own me whatever the situation be. I ran to my department and related the incident to one of my female colleagues and she on hearing this came out with me to confront him but 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 (contrary 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 Bordoloi on June 22, 2017 in Bilasipara police station. We too submitted our statements in this regard to the police station on August 6 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 complaint to the SDO (Civil), Bilasipara Sub-Division,” the lady teacher said in her letter.
The lady teacher also said that, the principal is not a man of decent behaviour and misbehaves with other female teachers after that incident.
“He is also involved in a scam of day care centre scheme of UGC in Bilasipara college (2010). I am at tremendous mental pressure which has now affected my family to a great extent. Torture is prevailing on us till date 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,MS Lakshmi Priya, an IAS officer directed the sub-divisional police office, Bilasipara on June 12 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.