Main accused in IIT-Madras sexual assault case arrested from West Bengal

Main accused in IIT-Madras sexual assault case arrested from West Bengal


A special team of the Chennai police on Sunday, March 27, arrested the main accused in the IIT Madras sexual assault case — Kingshuk Debsharma — from West Bengal. Kingshuk’s arrest comes a year after a complaint was filed against him by a 30-year-old Dalit woman PhD scholar who accused him and seven others at IIT-Madras of sexually harassing her between 2016 and 2020. Kingshuk was arrested in West Bengal and is under custody at Diamond Harbour police station in Kolkata. He is to be produced before the local magistrate on Monday to obtain a transit warrant and will later be brought back to Chennai.

TNM had earlier reported how the 30-year-old Dalit woman scholar of IIT-Madras had stated in her complaint that she was sexually assaulted and harassed by eight persons, including Kingshuk. She had filed a complaint at the Mylapore All Women Police Station in March 2020 alleging assault and incidents of harassment between 2016 and 2020. However, the FIR was only registered on June, three months after the complaint was first filed and rape charges were not even mentioned in the FIR. The FIR also omitted sections of the SC/ST Act.

Prior to the police complaint, the survivor had also filed a complaint at the Complaint Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CCASH) of IIT-Madras in 2020. The interim report of CCASH had found Kingshuk Debsharma and three other persons guilty of harassing her within the campus. The committee also concluded that Kingshuk verbally abused her and physically abused her twice. Three other men were found guilty of helping Kingshuk. Despite this, no action was taken by the police.

The committee postponed further investigations “owing to her vulnerable position,” and directed that none of the students will be permitted inside the campus until she submits her thesis. The committee had also asked the guides to ensure that the respondents do not submit their thesis until the survivor does. The survivor also alleged rape, sexual harassment, threats, emotional manipulation, gaslighting amidst others, in the complaint.

Meanwhile, commenting on the issue, IIT-Madras said the institution has followed all processes for investigating the matter of the student who has raised the matter of sexual harassment. IIT-M also added that the institution has been cooperating with the investigating authorities, and that the institute has extended all support to her during the external investigation.

Courtesy : The news minute

Note: This news piece was originally published in and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights objectives.

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