The Delhi Commission for Women on Tuesday directed the Delhi University, the police and Indraprastha College for Women to file a report by April 18 on the allegations that harassment of students during an annual festival.
On March 28, a group of men had barged into the Indraprastha College for Women by scaling the boundary walls, leading to a stampede. Several women were allegedly harassed and injured in the chaos. The incident had led to protests by hundreds of students, who have demanded strict action against the accused persons and the resignation of principal Poonam Kumria.
Swati Maliwal, the chairperson of the women’s panel, also made some recommendations to the Delhi Police after an inquiry into recurring incidents of sexual harassment of female students during college festivals.
The women’s panel said that the Delhi Police officials did not act swiftly in collecting CCTV footage of the incident.
“It’s unfortunate that despite the passage of ten days, police officials had not secured CCTV footage of the incident from college authorities which is crucial in identifying the perpetrators of the crime,” the Delhi Commission for Women said. “Commission again summoned the officials on 8.04.2023 wherein they informed that CCTV footage has been collected from the college now, but the footage is incomplete, and they have contacted the college to provide them the complete footage.”
The commission’s inquiry also found that the police had detained five persons in the case by giving them notice to join the investigation under Section 41 of the Indian Penal Code.
“However, all 5 of these persons were let go by Delhi Police the same day itself and they are expected to join the investigation,” the panel noted. “Delhi Police must make efforts to identify all perpetrators in the matter and arrest them at the earliest.”
The police have only recorded statements of two persons who were allegedly harassed even though 14 days have passed since the incident, the women’s panel noted. The Delhi Commission for Women recommended that the police must record statements of all those who were sexually harassed during the incident.