Cellphone in women’s washroom, plaint filed


After due deliberation and an internal inquiry, Mangalore University on Thursday lodged a complaint with Mangaluru City police to probe an incident wherein a cellphone was found hidden inside a women’s restroom on Mangalagangothri campus.
The university set up a four-member committee headed by Mustiary Begum, head of SPARSH (Sensitization, Prevention and Redressal of Sexual Harassment) to probe the incident reported to the authorities on August 24.
KM Lokesh, registrar (administration), Mangalore University, told TOI that the university set up the committee a day later on the direction of vice-chancellor K Byrappa. The committee probed the events based on complaints by students of the department of bio-science where the incident took place and submitted its findings to the university on August 28. The report was placed before the VC on Thursday.
Lokesh said since the VC was away in Delhi in the interim, the university authorities, based on the findings and approval from the VC, lodged a police complaint treating the incident as a cyber crime warranting police investigation. “The committee that checked the cellphone behind cardboard in a corner of the toilet found nothing incriminating in it. There is a visual of a student entering the washroom and exiting and nothing else in it,” Lokesh said.Incidentally, since the student who found the cellphone attached to a battery pack had handed it over to Taravathi NC, head of department of bio-science, and she had gone through it initially. Lokesh said the committee confirmed with her it was the only clip on the cellphone. “We did not want to create panic among students and wanted to ensure there was nothing personally damaging in the recordings,” he said.
The issue also figured in the syndicate meeting on Wednesday. Lokesh said the university had already issued a circular to heads of all departments on the PG campus and hostel wardens to ensure that restrooms and washrooms are totally sanitized and bo such incident occurs again. Besides, watch and ward staff have been instructed to strictly ensure there’s no unauthorized access to outsiders to the university campus.
A case under section 354(c) of IPC and section 66(E) of the IT Act was registered at the Konaje police station in view of the Mangalore University voyeurism incident. A special investigation team was formed under the supervision of ACP South Shruthi N S, according to M Chandra Sekhar, city police commissioner

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