Students of Gargi College have demanded that authorities provide them with a minimum security plan for the future, following alleged sexual harassment of students by outsiders during their college fest on February 6.
On the third day of the annual festival at the all-women’s college, hundreds of men allegedly broke into the campus and sexually harassed students. An FIR was lodged by college authorities on Monday — four days after the incident took place.
“No one made a PCR call on the day of the incident because the events were taking place in the presence of police themselves. They were right there. We are glad an FIR has now been lodged, but a complaint should have been filed by college authorities earlier,” said students’ union president Sundaram Thakur.
“The incident continued till late Thursday evening and the college had been shut after that, reopening only on Monday. On February 7, students started collecting social media testimonies. The day college reopened, all students gathered to share their testimonies, so we could put together all that had unfolded that evening,” said a third-year student.
According to a statement drafted by the general students’ body, the students demanded during Monday’s protest that the college inform them of the exact security arrangements that have been made.
Students pointed out this was not the first time that security measures were breached by outsiders.
“People had entered and troubled girls during the last fest, as well as during our Diwali fest. But our concerns don’t seem to be taken seriously,” said a second-year student.
A third-year student said though entry for the event was supposed to be restricted, “when I left the campus at 8.30 pm, the gate was completely open, so anyone could come in”.
“Ironically, we wanted to hold a protest against the citizenship law in college a while back, but we were not given permission on the pretext that goons could enter the college,” she said.
Rashi Mehra, an alumnus of the college who joined Monday’s protest, said: “There is so much policing, surveillance and restriction of women in these colleges, but it falls apart when it actually comes to their security.”
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