Students from the all-women Gargi College in New Delhi have alleged that a group of men barged into the campus during the annual cultural fest last week and sexually assaulted them while the police looked on, NDTV reported on Sunday. The college students will hold a protest march on Monday, demanding “safe fest or no fest”.
During the college festival “Reverie”, around 6.30 pm on Thursday, many unruly, drunk men allegedly mobbed the entrances of the college in South Delhi and forced their way in. In an official statement, the students said although a pass system was introduced this year for men to enter the college, things started going out of hand after 3.30 pm when a crowd of 300-400 men pushed through the gates. “The administration also showed its laxity by opening gates from time to time,” it said. “The police force and RAF [Rapid Action Force] did nothing to control the situation.”
The students said close to 1,000 men had gathered on campus. “Men stood in gangs, ogled at women, groped them, tried to feel them up and touched them throughout the concert,” their statement added.
The students accused the principal of making insensitive comments. “When the students tried to approach the principal with respect to what was happening on ground, she said that the students shouldn’t come to the fest if they felt unsafe,” the statement said.
As many as six women students have alleged that men sexually assaulted them, The Quint reported on Sunday. However, Principal Promila Kumar claimed she was unaware of the incident.
“It is a serious incident and I will deliberate on it,” Kumar told IANS. “It is a matter of serious concern, but unfortunately nobody has reported it to me. We had a huge security arrangement, including police, bouncers and even commandos along with the teaching and non-teaching staff, on duty. No one came to us and reported any such incident.”
An unidentified woman said the men were not college students. “They were at least 30-35-year-old men,” she told NDTV. “Half of them were drunk. We have visuals of these men smoking inside our campus.”
She alleged that the men chased the women around campus. The caller said first-year women students were lying unconscious on the campus following the incident.
“The administration did nothing to control it,” she alleged. “The Rapid Action Force personnel were standing right across the campus. They did absolutely nothing. We have visuals.”
The student said that she was groped three times for about 40 minutes and could not get out of the college due to the overcrowding. When she got out, a man started masturbating at her. “As soon as I escaped from that place a first-year student came to me running saying a group five to six men were cornering her,” she said.
The National Commission for Women has taken cognisance of the alleged sexual assault. A team of the commission will visit the college on Monday, reported ANI.
A team of Delhi Police visited the college to check the CCTV footage, according to ANI. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Thakur said that they have not received any complaint about the incident so far.