A DAY after a PhD student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) filed a rape case against a fellow student and former state president of the All India Students’ Association (AISA), the entire university community condemned the incident and demanded justice for the woman.
JNU has handed over the matter to the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH). Vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar told The Indian Express that GSCASH “was looking into it (the case)”.
On Monday, GSCASH issued a “restraint notice” in the matter and asked the JNU community not to engage in any action which directly or indirectly reveals the name of the complainant, else they would have to face the “strictest of penalties”.
Alleging that the incident had “tarnished the university’s image”, JNU said in a statement, “The administration strongly condemns the incident of heinous rape in a hostel in the campus on August 20. This has completely shaken the JNU community and tarnished the image of the university… The administration does not tolerate such incidents and resolves to take appropriate measures to prevent them in future. The entire JNU community stands with the victim. The administration appeals to students, staff and teachers to remain vigilant against such incidents.”
JNUSU said in a statement, “We condemn the incident and call for speedy action in the case. We demand that police take all necessary steps to ensure justice and arrest the accused without delay. The university must take necessary action against the accused student. We have written to the VC in this regard.”
Protests erupt on campus
Monday saw a chain of protests by organisations from the Left to Right, both within and outside the campus on the alleged rape of a student by an AISA activist. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) organised protests at the administrative block against AISA. Students also protested outside Vasant Kunj police station, demanding the arrest of the student, Anmol Ratan.
Calling Ratan an “anti-national rapist”, JNUSU joint-secretary Saurabh Sharma, who is from the ABVP, said a letter has been sent to the VC demanding that Ratan be rusticated. “JNU will not be allowed to become a rape capital. Time and again, matters of sexual harassment have been reported from AISA. They should publicly apologise,” he said.