New Delhi: Amid growing demand for his resignation over the molestation row, St Stephen's Principal Valson Thampu's today said he was being chased like an “animal” in the case and appealed to all “elements” concerned to avoid character assassination as the matter is sub judice.
Meanwhile, social activist Swami Agnivesh and members of Delhi Minorities Association came out in Thampu's support and said a “mala fide campaign” is run against him and efforts are being made to influence the course of law.
Claiming that he is being chased as an “animal”, Thampu maintained that his lawyer and former judge Manmohan Sarin had told him long before that attempts were being made to trap him in this case and he should report the matter to Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
He has been claiming that the research scholar who was allegedly molested by an assistant professor, was being used against him and was “coached to do a sting on him” by the “handlers” of the controversy.
Though the principal referred to the Old Stephanians Association, an alumni group which is not recognised by the college, as one of the elements who he alleged are after him, he did not reveal the names of others saying “the obvious need not be stated”.
“I have done my best in the capacity of a principal... but at the end of the day I am a human. I have a wife and two daughters who also live in the society. Since the matter is sub-judice I appeal all the elements concerned that this constant character assassination of me as well as the college should be avoided,” he said during a press conference.
Thampu also claimed that he is being dragged into the row which was supposed to be between the complainant and the accused but the principal has become the “principal offender” in the case.
Reiterating his demand for a CBI enquiry into the issue, he said that, “I want a comprehensive, unprejudiced enquiry to be conducted and the truth to be revealed. I also welcome the HRD ministry and UGC for their intervention into the proceedings of ICC.”
Batting for Thampu, Swami Agnivesh said, “An entire lobby is working against him including the alumni association. The media trial of the issue is a wrong thing to be done. The matter is before court, let it be take care there.”
“Why stage protests and intrude into campus's activities? Why should we be judges and advocates in the matter? Certain alumni are hounding him as hunting dogs. We should realise that individuals come and go but the reputation of college suffers,” he said.
Scores of students, teachers and women rights organisations had yesterday staged a protest outside college demanding Thampu's resignation for shielding the accused.
He had said that he would resign if “it is objectively proved that he is an embarrassment to the institution”.
While the UGC official who is in-charge of the enquiry was believed to have been told by college authorities that lack of resources and cooperation from other members has led to a delay in the enquiry, Thampu said it should be reported to him about who from the college did not cooperate.
“If anyone from the college doesn't cooperate, I have all the authority to force them to do so. I cannot however give a time-frame for the ICC probe to be completed,” he said.
While HRD ministry has directed for the probe by ICC to be completed “expeditiously” and “impartially”, Delhi High Court has stayed the arrest of the accused professor Satish Kumar till August 17.