Students from south Delhi's all-girls Gargi College alleged that they were manhandled, molested and sexually assaulted on the college campus during 'Reverie', the annual cultural fest, by drunk men who barged inside the college under the watch of the police.
A student, requesting anonymity, said, "The students' union will be taking up the matter with the college administration on Monday. During the fest, the police and bouncers were present and were informed that there was overcrowding but they did not do anything to manage the crowd."
"I could see women, first-year students lying unconscious, unattended on the field. It was a medical emergency as well," NDTV quoted an eye-witness who is also a student of the college.
"The administration did nothing to control it. The RAF (Rapid Action Force) personnel were standing right across the campus. They did absolutely nothing. We have visuals,"she added.
Nalini Sharma/ Twitter
In a statement, the Left-backed Democratic Students' Federation (DSF) said, "Thursday saw the Gargi annual fest, Reverie happen in the college premises where the deliberate negligence on the part of the administration and the security led to a situation where a score of inebriated men were allowed to enter the campus and grope and harass the students."
The outfit claimed students have also said that these men were shouting "Jai Sri Ram" and holding saffron flags.
The DSF also compared the incident to recent violence at the Jamia Millia Islamic and the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
A second-year student of political science told on condition of anonymity, that "around 6:30 p.m. on February 6, the field was so massively crowded that there was no space to move. Two of my friends who were accompanying me, they had held my hands so that I don't get lost in the crowd as there is no cell reception on the field. Suddenly immense pressure came from behind and my hand got jerked off so I lost my friends for the next 10-15 minutes, and in those minutes, I was molested thrice."
"I was groped thrice, somebody reached for inside my skirt and the problem was I couldn't move out of it," she said in a choked voice.
"Somehow I struggled and moved out and ran towards the empty space behind the stalls. By that time, I had found my friends, they looked at me horrified, but they didn't know what had happened to me as I didn't want to talk about it. So they went to get water, and would have been gone for just around 5 minutes, but in those five minutes I saw that a 30-35-year-old man began masturbating while looking at me, so I ran from there too," she added, narrating her ordeal.
Another student from the college said: "Around 3-3.30 p.m., large groups of men started pushing the doors and then entered the college. There were no police personnel or bouncers present at the gate from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. when 300-400 people entered the college.
The student also alleged that when she approached the college principal Promila Kumar, she responded by saying that I should have not come to the fest if I felt so unsafe.
The principal, however, said: "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. We were taking rounds in the crowd. However, there is no doubt that it was very crowded. We were very vigilant but we couldn't see anything of this sort."
Speaking about the students allegations, she said that "This is a false allegation. One of the students did come to me, so I asked her to stay with me until the situation became normal, but she disappeared suddenly."
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)