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Gargi College: Police Arrests 10 in Relation to Molestation and Security Concerns

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In response to the unfortunate events that happened in Gargi College during their annual fest, the police booked ten people and further arrested two more suspects.

On February 6, a group of men broke into the Gargi College during the college’s Annual Cultural Fest, Reverie 2020, and allegedly groped, harassed and molested the attendees, who claimed that security officials stood watching when the incidents took place. After the victims shared details of their harassment on social media, a formal investigation was started by the police and college administration.

On Wednesday, the Delhi Police arrested ten students in connection with the molestation of the girls in Gargi College’s fest. A case was registered against the ten accused at the Hauz Khas Police Station. These ten people were all students from other Delhi University (DU) colleges as well as colleges from private universities in Noida and were identified using CCTV footage from three cameras, in which they were seen climbing over the college gate and later pushing a car against it to force it open. 

The police said that they have more than eleven teams who are working on the case and coordinating with college authorities. Multiple suspects have been identified and questioned.

 However, on Thursday, a Saket court granted all ten students bail, said a police officer. “We have CCTV footage where the arrested persons were seen barging into the college premises by damaging a gate but they do not have any video or CCTV footage to establish that these persons were also involved in molestation” the officer added. He also said that nine students have recorded their statements with the police and that they are approaching more students to provide any videos or pictures that might lead them to the accused people.

A student was quoted on social media platform Twitter as “People have literally been detained for much longer periods for much lesser offences. Heck, sometimes for no offences at all.”

On the same day, the police arrested two more people in connection with the case. One of the accused arrested is a 22-year-old graduate preparing for competitive exams, while another, aged 19, is working as a tele-caller in a company in Delhi.

A notable mention in this case, is the fact that despite guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC), there is no Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in place at Gargi College, to address such concerns and incidents. The students of Gargi College have boycotted classes since the incident and have been protesting for safe and secure campuses, especially for girls.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court declined to give an urgent hearing on a petition seeking a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the incident. The plea was mentioned before a bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice C Hari Shankar and was heard on Monday. The high court has sought a response of the Centre and the CBI on the plea.

Gargi College said that it had taken various steps to address the “anxieties and concerns” of the students and “mitigate their trauma”, like face to face interactions, and setting up a fact finding committee to recommend future course of action.

Sumit Raj, in-charge of the media cell, said students had been given time till Saturday to submit all testimonials and video/image proof to the committee.

On whether there was a deadline for the committee to submit a report, he said, “They are working day and night and they will do it soon.”

 Image Credits: The Times of India

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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