Islamabad:The unfortunate incident of molestation of a female student of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) by the controller examination is allegedly being hushed up by the university administration.
According to the details, a female student from the natural sciences department of QAU went to Controller Examinations for some paper work. The official locked the door and allegedly molested her. The girl started screaming after which the official ran away.
The parents of the girl visited the university campus and asked QAU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr. Masoom Yasinzai to conduct a fair inquiry into the case and remove the controller examination from his post who is also a threat for the other girls studying in the university.
The university has constituted a committee including QAU National Institute of Psychology Director Dr. Anila Kamal, Chemistry Department Chairperson Dr. Saqib Ali, Department of Biochemistry Professor Dr. Wasim and Campus Manager Colonel (r) Nadeem Gill.
However, sources in the university believe that the university was trying to give cover to the culprit, as he is still not being suspended yet. “The university should have suspended the culprit as soon as it has received a complaint against him,” he said.
The source said that there was no need to constitute a new committee when there was already a committee. “A formal committee on sexual harassment has already been announced however, its notification is still pending. The VC should have issued the notification for the same committee instead of announcing a new one,” the source said.
According to information, the formal committee on sexual harassment included the deans of department and members of civil society while Farzana Bari was the convener of that committee.
“The purpose behind the constitution of committee was nothing but to hush up the matter. The university administration knew that the already purposed committee could create a hype of the issue and the incident could be reported to media in that case,” the source believed.
Talking to ‘The News’ Human Rights Activist QAU Gender Studies Department Head Farzana Bari said that it was not the first case of this nature in the university however, this is the first case that has been properly reported. “Most of such cases are hushed up either by the victim’s family or by the university administration,” she said.
She said that most of the cases of harassment reported in the university are ‘students versus students’. “We often receive complaints from girls against boys. In such cases warning letters are issued to the culprits and matters are normally resolved,” she said.
She said that the constitution of adhoc committee was not the solution of sexual harassment cases. “The administration should constitute a formal committee, which comprises experts rather than any layman,” she said.
She said that the administration of university was trying to hide the identity of the culprit and providing cover to him. “The identity of victim should not be disclosed, but the identity of culprit should be made public,” she added.
Talking to ‘The News’ QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Masoom Yasinzai said that a committee comprising senior most and non controversial faculty members has already been constituted to probe the matter. “We have asked the committee to present its report within one week,” he said.
He said that the committee that has been earlier constituted has not sent its proposal to him for the approval so he has constituted new committee. “The earlier committee was meant to deal the general cases of sexual harassment. The committee, which has been now constituted is meant to deal with this particular case. Moreover, the presence of Farzana Bari could have created controversy since she is a human rights activist,” he added.
He said that the culprit if proven guilty would be immediately suspended while stern action would be taken against him according to the rules and procedures of the university.The news.