March 29, 2021 3:06:26 am
While Holi might be a day of celebration for many, for the Delhi University administration, women’s safety issues associated with the festival makes it a day of vigilance and extensive security mobilisation.
Security arrangements in the university area extend over a week leading up to the festival and draw in a large team from the proctor’s office, administrations of all colleges and institutes in the university, the Delhi Police and the DTC.
According to a statement by registrar Vikas Gupta, the university has taken “elaborate internal and external security arrangements on the campus, hostels and the colleges to counter any possible act of hooliganism or rowdy conduct in the name of Holi, particularly those targeting women students… Strictest possible disciplinary action shall be taken to curb any act of hooliganism and disturbance during Holi under the provisions of University Statutes and Ordinances.”
A joint control room manned by five officials from the proctor’s office in North Campus and two officials in South Campus has been functional, with publicised helplines numbers, from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm every day since March 23 to deal with untoward incidents. There has also been mobile patrolling since March 23 by the proctor’s office and the security office.
Additionally, last week, all college principals, faculty deans and department heads were asked to constitute committees “to avoid any untoward incident and also to strengthen a feeling of security among students, especially girls”.
According to Holi guidelines issued by the university, “The University has been assured full cooperation by the police authorities in maintaining law and order and strict action against eve-teasing. For this purpose, police force is being deployed at various strategic positions around the colleges. Mobile patrolling is also being deployed. The University has requested police authorities to deploy force in uniform and in plain clothes in buses going to various colleges.”
The extensive security arrangement also include transport authorities. “The university has approached the DTC and Metro authorities to check any harassment of girl students in buses and Metro during ‘Holi’ week. DTC drivers have been instructed to take buses to the nearest police station in case any hooliganism or harassment of students is noticed in their buses, especially any incident targeted at girls.”
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