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I am Dawood Ibrahim, says St Stephen’s college principal Valson Thampu

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New Delhi: “I am Dawood Ibrahim that is why I am being hounded” St Stephen’s college principal Valson Thampu on Thursday said, expressing anguish over the “way” he is being “attacked” in connection with a research scholar’s sexual harassment case.

The research scholar had alleged that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the college’s Chemistry department. She also claimed that Thampu has been shielding Kumar and has pressured her to withdraw her complaint.

“I am Dawood Ibrahim. If others are free to morph me into an object of aversion… I am also free to project myself in an extremely self-denigrating image… for the support it might lend to now sagging efforts of the vested interests as well as the media,” Thampu said.

“My imagination in this respect cannot go beyond Dawood Ibrahim as he is the ultimate embodiment of aversions. I stand by every word I say or have said. I am not a coward to attribute anything to the ‘incompetence’ of media. Yes, I am Dawood Ibrahim,” he said.

A section of students, college’s alumni and women rights groups has been pressing for his resignation in the wake of the controversy.

Thampu, the accused professor and the research scholar were summoned on Wednesday by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and the issue was discussed at length during the three-hour long meeting.

Thampu maintained that “he is being hounded as an animal in the case as if he is the harasser”.

Prior to the DCW hearing, he had sought suggestions on his Facebook page about “whether he should appear before the DCW with his face covered as usually all harassers and rapists are photographed with their faces covered”.

Thampur, who has been ambroiled in controveries ever since he took over as the college principal in 2008, had earlier said he would resign if “it is objectively proved that he is an embarrassment to the institution”.

“I conveyed the same to the DCW chief too. Getting the research scholar’s supervisor changed and facilitating her compounds is not in my domain.

“But I have told the commission that if slightest of lapse is found on my part during the probe, it should recommend to the college’s Supreme Council that my services be terminated,” he said.

Thampu is due to retire from the post in February 2016.

Controversies like allegations of forced conversion of an administrative officer to Christianity, fake degree used for his appointment, banning of e-zine for not seeking permission on content and shielding a professor accused of sexual harassment of a research scholar, have rocked the college from time to time.

Thampu, however, has maintained that no other institution in the world has been subjected to such “harassment” but it is strong enough to withstand 1,000 other controversies.