JU student alleges sexual harassment by teacher

Women BD Desk: A female student of Jahangirnagar University’s Government and Politics department has brought an allegation of sexual harassment against a teacher of the department.

Haunted by mental trauma, the student even attempted to commit suicide on 23 September taking a number of sleeping pills while staying at a relative’s house in Dhaka. Her friends then took her to a Savar hospital.

The accused teacher is Sanwar Siraj, an assistant professor.

Professor Nasrin Sultana, the chairman of the department, said that the victim’s complaint had been sent to the Anti-Sexual Harassment Cell of the university on 25 September.

In the written complaint, she alleged that Sanwar had frequently asked her on Facebook Messenger to build an intimate relationship with him. The victim said in the complaint that she was traumatised by continued harassment that started last year.

She had shared the matter with professor Shamsunnahar Khanam, the then chairman of the department. But instead of investigating the complaint against Sanwar, professor Shamsunnahar told the student to file a written complaint with proofs.

When asked about this, the former department chairman said the victim did not file any written complaint of sexual harassment against Sanwar to her.

“Her complaint is untrue. I don’t know why she is speaking against me,” Shamsunnahar told women Bangkadesh.

The victim said she had attempted suicide as she was frustrated.

“I complained against him in several places but found no justice,” she added.

When asked about the sexual harassment allegation, Sanwar said, “Anyone can bring allegation against anyone. The allegation is under investigation. If I’m guilty, I’ll be punished. But, if anyone lies, he/she should be punished, too,” said the teacher.

JU’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Cell chief, professor Rasheda, told Prothom Alo, “We’re looking into the complaint.”

The victim, however, expressed her no-confidence in the Anti-Sexual Harassment Cell’s investigation as it is headed by professor Rasheda Akhter.

“Earlier, a female student of Drama and Dramatics department brought an allegation of sexual harassment against a teacher of the department but she got no justice,” the victim said.

Asked about this, professor Rasheda said, “It’s her assumption. I’m not the only person in the cell. There are six more teachers in the team.”

Daily Women Bangladesh/BH

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