Rashmi Samant ‘pleased’ with outcome of Oxford University cyber bullying probe

Rashmi Samant ‘pleased’ with outcome of Oxford University cyber bullying probe

An investigation by the University of Oxford into allegations of cyber bullying and Hinduphobia against a staff member arising out of his controversial social media posts targeting Indian student Rashmi Samant has finally concluded.

While the findings remain confidential and the details cannot be disclosed, Samant’s lawyer issued a statement to welcome the long-overdue conclusion of the inquiry.

“The University of Oxford has finally concluded its investigation into the harassment complaint raised by Ms Rashmi Samant, who I represent. The various events that compelled her to file the complaint are widely known given that they were played out to a large degree on social media,” said Adhitya Srinivasan, the lawyer representing the Indian student.

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“The period between when these events transpired and today has no doubt been emotionally wrecking for Ms Samant, and I have nothing but admiration for the stiff fight she has put up. I am delighted that a decision has been reached, albeit somewhat belatedly, and I am pleased with the outcome of the investigation. At this stage, we are precluded from sharing further details,” he said.

Samant herself took to social media to express her relief and share an image of her parents, who had been targeted in an attack on their religious beliefs.

The investigation by the university related to a History Faculty member, Dr Abhijit Sarkar, who took to social media in the wake of the controversy surrounding Samant stepping down as President-elect of the Oxford Student Union to post images of her family and make hurtful references to their Hindu faith.

The University statement at the conclusion of the investigation read: "The outcome of the independent investigation into online comments made by a staff member from a private, non-University account, has now concluded and made its recommendations.

“The process remains confidential and the University will not be making any further comment on the case, and has asked all parties concerned to respect the confidentiality of all involved."

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The case had attracted widespread support from Indian diaspora groups in the UK, who had issued several pleas for speedy action against the staffer.

While the outcome remains unknown, it would appear some action has been taken against the academic in question.

“Why is it confidential when the university is a public body? I can see no reason for this being confidential. Justice in private is not justice,” said Alpesh Patel, the Chair of City Hindus Network who had brought the issue to the attention of the university authorities earlier this year.

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