The Delhi Police on Monday registered an FIR in connection with the alleged molestation of students during a cultural festival at the all-women Gargi College last week.
The police said they have received a complaint from the college authorities.
A case has been registered at the Hauz Khas police station under IPC Sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Responding to the incident when an unruly mob of around 35 men, some of whom were reportedly drunk, barged into the campus of the Delhi college, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the government would not tolerate "misbehaviour with our daughters". The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief demanded the "harshest" punishment possible for the culprits.
"Misbehaviour with our daughters in Gargi College is very sad and disappointing. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated. Culprits should be give the harshest possible punishment and we must ensure that children studying in our colleges feel safe," the chief minister tweeted.
गार्गी कॉलेज में हमारी बेटियों के साथ बद्सलूकी बेहद दुखद और निराशाजनक है। इसे क़तई बर्दाश्त नहीं किया जा सकता। दोषियों को पकड़ कर सख्त से सख्त सजा मिलनी चाहिए। और ये सुनिश्चित हो कि हमारे कॉलेजों में पढ़ने वाले बच्चे सुरक्षित हों।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 10, 2020
Kejriwal, whose AAP is tipped by exit polls to win a third term, had made safety for women as one of his poll promises.
Earlier on Monday, scores of students of the college held a protest over the incident.
NDTV quoted one of the students as saying, "My friends and I were standing in a group... another friend was taking our photo when a group of three men came and threw money at her and walked away laughing and cheering. When I wanted to report it to the Proctor I really could not... there was no signal in our phones. Something happened to us and we felt so powerless."
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has also sent a team to investigate the incident. NCW chief Rekha Sharma confirmed this on Monday.
"I read on social media that girls were molested and no step taken by the administration. I have sent a team. They wanted to talk to the principal and also to talk to police. I can only react after they talk to them," Sharma said.
Taking cognisance of the alleged sexual assault by outsiders and demanding action against those, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal issued notices to both the Delhi Police and the college administration on Monday.
"We are investigating the matter and issuing notices to the Delhi Police and college administration. Action should be taken against those who did this and those who protected them," Maliwal was quoted as saying on Gargi college incident.
Swati Maliwal, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief: We are investigating the matter and issuing notices to Delhi Police & college administration. Action should be taken against those who did this and those who protected them. https://t.co/j86ROMak47 pic.twitter.com/6IuUNfZo0o
— ANI (@ANI) February 10, 2020
She added, "Delhi Police constables were in Gargi college on duty when all this happened but they stayed quiet." The DCW chief also visited the college.
The incident came to light after some students took to Instagram to narrate their unpleasant experiences during the college fest. Both students and teachers took to social media to narrate the incident.
As per their posts, during the annual college festival, Reverie, around 6.30 pm on 6 February, groups of unruly, drunk men mobbed the entrances of the college and forced their way in.
They alleged that the college management did not take any action even after the students took up the matter with it. The students alleged that Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Delhi Police personnel were deployed close to the gate from where the men allegedly entered.
"There was a complete lapse of security. The students were groped, molested and even assaulted by the men who all appeared to be in their mid-30s. The college had claimed to set up security but, I don't think there must have been such an incident in any college campus across the country," a student said on 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."
"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 7 February, 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 6 February incident at Gargi College.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2020 16:55:38 IST