Chennai Woman Withdraws Harassment Plaint Against ABVP National President, Family Cites 'Pressure'

In a complaint, the woman's nephew had alleged that Subbiah Shanmugam urinated at her doorstep, threw used face masks and garbage and harassed her on the phone.

New Delhi: A few hours after the police charged the national president of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in a case of harassment, the 52-year-old woman neighbour has withdrawn her complaint, The NewsMinute reported.

According to the woman’s family, Subbiah Shanmugam apologised to her on Saturday for his actions. The family also alleged that neighbours in the building had pressurised them to not take the matter any further.

“The Apartment association too is telling my aunt that they should just talk this out. Her neighbour, who helped with evidence collection earlier has also advised her to let the case go,” said Balaji Vijayaraghavan, the woman’s nephew.

The police confirmed that the case had been withdrawn by the woman.

According to the Times of India, an FIR has been registered against Subbiah Shanmugam under Indian Penal Code sections 271 271 (Whoever knowingly disobeys any rule made and promulgated by the government) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupee) and under the Tamil Nadu Women Harassment (Prevention) Act.

According to NDTV, the case was registered after the family of the woman, Chandra, alleged that the city police was not filing a First Information Report, snowballing into a political controversy.

In the complaint dated July 11, Chandra’s nephew alleged that Subbiah, who is the chief of Surgical Oncology at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital and Government Hospital at Royapettah, had urinated at her doorstep, thrown used face masks and garbage, harassed her on the phone and broken a signboard.

Vijayaraghavan’s Facebook post, which went viral, said that the issue began a few months ago when Shanmugam had asked to temporarily use her parking slot. The matter escalated when Chandra asked for a monthly rent when Shanmugam asked for a more permanent arrangement.

“The government doctor urinated at her doorstep and threw used mask and other muck at her place. We have CCTV footage, but the police wouldn’t register an FIR. They gave only a CSR (Community Service Register) receipt. Though we had given the complaint first seeking legal action for harassment, nuisance and under the Epidemic Act, the police waited for the doctor to give a complaint and falsely made ours a counter complaint,” the woman’s relative told NDTV.

Also read: When Your Inner Voice Starts Hating the Outer You, or Why I Resigned From ABVP

According to the woman’s family, a CCTV camera was installed on their floor on July 10, which captured an incident on the same day. The News Minute reported that the video showed a man wearing a blue shirt and urinating in front of the woman’s door.

Subbiah denied all allegations and claimed that the video had been doctored. “The video is doctored. That is not me. Someone is manipulating the situation,” he told TNM.

When asked about the dispute, Subbiah noted that he had temporarily used the parking slot, but later got another. “This is a social media trial. I never put any waste on their door or harassed my neighbour in any way,” he said.

Times of India quoted the ABVP national general secretary Nidhi Tripathi as saying that the Congress’ student wing, NSUI was behind the complaint. “NSUI is running a malicious, derogatory propaganda against Dr Subbaiah Shanmugam with a fake video purported as harassment.”

Refuting ABVP’s statement, Chandra’s nephew Vijayaraghavan, said that they previously had no intentions to the issue forward. “We heard he is a fine doctor. In this pandemic, we want doctors like him to continue his service as a better human being. For that, he has to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy and continue to serve the society,” he said.

The nephew stated that the family came forward after ABVP claimed that the videos were fake. “Since the organisation he belongs to had stated that the videos are fake, we decided to go public,” he told TOI. Vijayaraghavan added that the residents association of the colony had decided to take a further course of action as he has “habitually created nuisance” in the apartment.