Hundreds of students of the private Chandigarh University on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway held a protest late Saturday after a woman student allegedly leaked objectionable videos of other students, which are being widely shared on the internet.
The woman student has been taken into police custody, said officials.
I humbly request all the students of Chandigarh University to remain calm, no one guilty will be spared.
It’s a very sensitive matter & relates to dignity of our sisters & daughters.
We all including media should be very very cautious,it is also test of ours now as a society.
— Harjot Singh Bains (@harjotbains) September 18, 2022
The police said they are verifying claims that the woman who was accused of leaking the videos was being blackmailed by a man. They added that a case under section 354C pertaining to voyeurism under the Indian Penal Code and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act (punishment for violation of privacy) has been registered against the woman at Kharar (Sadar) police station.
Mohali DC Amit Talwar at a press conference stated that there was “no reality” in claims over attempted suicides. He added that some of the girls fainted, and were provided the medical assistance.
Tweeting about the incident, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the incident “very serious and shameful”. “All the culprits involved in this will get the harshest punishment. Victim girls have courage. We are all with you. All act with patience,” he added.
2/2 ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਖਾਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਲੜਕੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਇਨਸਾਫ਼ ਦਾ ਭਰੋਸਾ ਦਿਵਾਉਂਦਾ ਹਾਂ। ਮੁਹਾਲੀ ਦੇ ਡਿਪਟੀ ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨਰ ਅਤੇ ਐਸ.ਐਸ.ਪੀ. ਨੂੰ ਸਮੁੱਚੇ ਘਟਨਾਕ੍ਰਮ ਦੀ ਡੂੰਘਾਈ ਨਾਲ ਜਾਂਚ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਆਦੇਸ਼ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ। ਇਸ ਮਾਮਲੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਪਾਏ ਜਾਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ਿਆ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਵੇਗਾ।
— Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer (@meet_hayer) September 18, 2022
The woman student accused of leaking the videos was also allegedly demanding money from others for not leaking them. After the matter came to light, students poured out of their hostels and held a protest.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mohali SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said the woman had admitted that she sent her photographs to her friend but they were verifying whether she had sent pictures of other girls as well.
“We are investigating the matter. There was a protest and everything is under control,” said Soni.
Soni, at a press conference later said, “I want to make it clear that we did not get any video of the other women. We are also not giving the clean chit to anyone. The prime accused has been arrested and we have confiscated the equipments.”
In a separate press conference, Punjab Woman Commission Chairperson Manisha Gulati said that they shall be looking at the issue closely. She said that the warden shall also be questioned. Assuring that the inquiry would be concluded within one week, Gulati said that the hostels shall be examined. She added that they will also look into the harassment complaints at all universities across the state.
University officials, meanwhile, stated that the building was recently converted to a hostel for girls. According to guidelines, no male members are allowed inside the girls hostel. If maintainence staff enters, they are issued a gate pass and accompanied by the warden.
Punjab School Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains appealed to the protesting students to remain calm, adding that “no one guilty will be spared”. Higher Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer requested people to refrain from forwarding unverified news, and assured that justice to the students.