Maharaja's College employee booked for sexual slur against transgender student

Maharaja's College employee booked for sexual slur against transgender student

Kochi: The police have filed a case against the office superintendent of Maharaja's College at Ernakulam in Kerala after a transgender student complained about his alleged sexual misconduct.

The first year BA Malayalam student said in her complaint that the incident occurred on the last day of the college before the study holidays. The transwoman told Onmanorama that the college employee stared at her and passed sexual and provocative comments on October 31.

"I visited the college to pay my examination fee and apply for the hall ticket. The superintendent was having a conversation with a house keeping staff. When I entered the corridor, he called me and asked my name, the course I pursue, my native place and about the support I get from my parents. I answered every question. Then, he started passing comments with sexual undertones and about my body," she said.

The student filed a complaint with the college union office-bearers and the counselling psychologist Anila, who is appointed by the education department to extend help to needy students. The student along with Anila and the college union members met the principal and a complaint was filed.

Divya, the students' union chairperson of Maharaja's College, said the transgender student is a singer and stage performer. She will get all the support from the college union.

College principal Jayakumar met the student and the employee concerned before forwarding the complaint to higher authorities and police. When contacted, the principal refused to comment on the case.

The accused employee claimed that the complainant was trying to blackmail him. "When asked about her demand for withdrawing the complaint, she said she wanted Rs 5 lakh or exemption from all kinds of academic fees till the end of her course," he claimed.

Responding to the allegations, the complainant posted a Facebook update. "I don't have to enrol in a college if I am so greedy about money. Transgenders do not live for sex only. I decided to pursue higher education because I aspire to achieve my goals making use of the fee concessions and opportunities extended by the government for us. I interact with a lot of people on a daily basis. I would have appreciated if the superintendent's conversation was a casual one. It wasn't."

"It was a rainy day. He approached me and passed sexual remarks about me and my body. The crimes committed by transgenders hog headlines easily. At the same time, the bitter experiences faced by us aren't projected well. However, the police were very supportive and understanding," she said in her FB post.

After receiving the complaint, Ernakulam central police visited the college and recorded the student's statement. Later, they also summoned the accused and collected his version. The case is under investigation now.

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