Former Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) National President Dr Subbiah Shanmugam has been arrested by the Chennai police over a case against him for allegedly harassing a woman neighbour by urinating near the entrance of her home and throwing rubbish outside her house.
The alleged incident took place in July 2020, following a disagreement over a parking lot between Subbiah and the victim.
Subbiah, who was also the head of the Department of Surgical Oncology in Kilpauk Medical College at the time, had been booked by the Adambakkam police based on a complaint from the 60-year-old victim and her family.
What Had Happened?
Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) nearly two weeks after receiving the complaint, following public outrage. Subbiah was booked under Section 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule) and Section 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code and under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Women Harassment Act.
However, hours after the case was registered, the woman withdrew her complaint. Her family had alleged pressure from neighbours in the building to not pursue the matter any further. At the time, police said that despite the withdrawal, they would have to continue their investigation since the FIR had been filed.
In July 2020, the victim, a widow who had been living alone, said she had been facing constant harassment from her neighbour, as she found urine splattered in front of her door along with rubbish dumped outside the entrance.
Suspecting it was Subbiah, with whom she had argued recently over a parking space, her family installed a CCTV camera, which captured a video of a man urinating on her door. While the woman’s family alleged that it was Subbiah in the video, he had denied it, claiming that the video was doctored.
The issue had turned political with even the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) demanding action against the ABVP leader, and the victim’s family alleging that police were reluctant to take action in the case because of the doctor’s political ties.
A few months later, in October 2020, Subbiah was appointed as a board member of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Madurai, a move that was widely condemned. He was recently placed under suspension from his position as head of the Department of Surgical Oncology in Kilpauk Medical College, for violating government servants’ conduct rules by engaging in political activities. He was suspended for helping ABVP members who staged a protest in front of Chief Minister MK Stalin’s residence.
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)