After 377 struck down, ex-TISS student alleges he was raped
A former student of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, has filed a complaint with the institute's internal complaints committee, alleging that he was raped by a visiting speaker. The victim was 21-years-old when the alleged incident took place in February 2017. He said that he had not complained earlier as Section 377 was still in place. Here's more.
What allegedly went down in February 2017
The victim alleged that he had been "raped, sexually assaulted, and stripped naked" by a visiting speaker in February 2017. The accused, then a 21-year-old man associated with an international art forum, was visiting for a conference. The duo met via a dating app, met up at the TISS campus library, and moved to the terrace where the student was allegedly raped.
The victim explains his year of silence
Explaining his silence, the complainant said that he had not complained about the incident last year, in fear of being implicated under the draconian Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which was recently struck down by the Supreme Court. He added that he was told in various ways that the internal complaints committee couldn't initiate action against someone not part of TISS.
The victim's email to the TISS director, complaints committee
"I was informed by various means that action can't be taken against people who were not part of TISS, and that in case I go to police, I would be implicated under the law as 377 was still in force during the time," he said.
What the accused had to say about the allegations
The Indian Express contacted the accused, who now lives abroad, for comments. The accused said that he "did not realize" that his advances "were not wanted", and "stopped" as soon as he did. He added that he had had flirty conversations with the victim and that there "very clear...mutual desire". He had also reached out to the student, but to no avail.
What the TISS administration has said
Meanwhile, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) administration has said that the former student's complaint has been registered and further course of action is being discussed. However, so far, TISS director Professor Shalini Bharat, and the Internal Committee for Sexual Harassment presiding officer Shewli Kumar, to whom the victim had addressed his complaints have refused to comment.