Delhi college students allege molestation during annual fest, hold protest

PTI/New Delhi
Filed on February 10, 2020
Delhi college students, molestation, Gargi College

(Photo: ANI)

The men groped and dragged girls and performed obscene acts during the college fest.

Scores of students of the all-women Gargi College on Monday held a protest against the alleged molestation of girls by a group of men who had gatecrashed a cultural festival, demanding strict action against the intruders.

The Delhi Police said it has launched a probe into the incident and is scanning CCTV footage to gather evidence.

Police, however, have not received a complaint in this regard, a senior officer said.

The incident came to light after some students took to Instagram to narrate their unpleasant experiences during the February 6 college fest.

Over 100 students held a protest outside the gate of Gargi College.

They alleged that the college management did not take any action even after the students took up the matter with it.

They also alleged that Rapid Action Force and Delhi Police personnel were deployed close to the gate from where the men entered the college, but they did nothing to control the unruly crowd.

"There was a complete lapse of security. The students were groped, molested and even assaulted by the men who appeared to be in their mid-30s. The college had claimed to have made security arrangements. I don't think such an incident has taken place on any college campus across the country," a student said on the condition of anonymity.

A political science student, who also did not wish to be named, said, "Some men jumped over the gates, some broke open the gates and some jumped over walls. They were drunk and went berserk."

The men groped and dragged girls and performed obscene acts, she said.

"Some girls ran towards washrooms. The men followed them and locked them inside," she added.

The students alleged that they were threatened by the intruders, who also made objectionable remarks and used cuss words. They also claimed that auto drivers, who had parked their vehicles outside the main gate of the college, also entered the campus.

"The college had hired bouncers for security. The college security was also standing right there and watching it all. My friend, who was molested, rushed to a security guard and pleaded him for help but he did not move," a BA student said.

The students said they reported the matter to the college management but in vain.

"The next day, on Feb 7, we took up the matter with teachers and college management. The management said they had 'taken note' of it. They didn't promise to take any action, after which many students shared their horrific experiences on Instagram," a B.Sc student said.

According to the students, Delhi University colleges have witnessed repeated instances of eve-teasing and sexual harassment during college festivals. However, the university hasn't taken them seriously, which led to the February 6 incident at Gargi College.

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal reached the college to take stock of the situation.

The DCW has issued a notice the college and the Delhi Police for inaction.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said appropriate action will be taken in the matter.

"We have not yet received a complaint in this regard. But we have began a sou-moto inquiry into the incident," the DCP said.

Police are scanning footage of CCTV cameras to collect evidence and speaking to students to ascertain facts, he added.

The inquiry is being conducted by Additional DCP (South) Geetanjali Khandelwal, Thakur said.

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