The following piece may be upsetting for some readers. Trigger warning: transgression of consent, invasion of privacy, harassment.
Students from Bharati College of Delhi University reported a distressing incident that unfolded on the college premises on the second day of Rendezvous, the fest at IIT Delhi.
On October 6, during the cultural festival of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, ‘RendezvousX’, students of Bharati College reported an unfortunate incident of an alleged breach of their privacy through unconsented videography on the college premises. Team Elantré, the fashion society of Bharati College, participated in a fashion show competition hosted by IIT Delhi, where several members of the team reported observing a mobile phone seemingly filming them through the window shafts while changing costumes in the campus washrooms. The victims, through a statement on the society’s official social media, claim to have promptly brought this incident to the attention of the student incharges responsible for the event’s organisation, who are alleged to have reacted nonchalantly to their concerns. The incharges reportedly shifted the blame onto the victims, asserting that they should have used the designated green rooms for costume changes instead of the washrooms.
In response to the victims’ complaints, the organising members eventually informed them that the issue had been forwarded to the college authorities for further investigation. However, a significant concern arose when it reportedly took approximately 2 hours for the alleged perpetrator to be located, despite the availability of CCTV footage. Nearly 3 hours later, the alleged housekeeping staff was identified, but he claimed to have deleted any evidence from the phone in question, citing panic as the reason. Notably, the victims discovered that the phone in his possession was not the same one they had witnessed.
An individual, who claimed to have accompanied the team as a makeup artist, asserted that the concerned authorities assured them that gates had been locked and jammers were in action, after which they were shown CCTV footage of a person entering the aisle beside the washrooms.
Everyone was in shock, especially some of the girls who had already changed before. The authorities were trying to shush us and kept assuring us that they would catch the culprit.
The Organising Committee of Rendezvous, through their Instagram handle, clarified that immediately after the incident was brought to the attention of the volunteers, the Lecture Hall Complex (the location of the event) was shut down to restrict any movement. Additionally, they stated that security is being tightened to prevent any such unfortunate incidents.
As soon as the perpetrator was identified, he was promptly handed over to the campus security and further to the Jia Sarai police station. We are assisting the victims and their families in further police proceedings as best as we can. We strongly condemn the perpetrator and have zero tolerance for such actions.
– read the team’s statement
While the Rendezvous team page asserted that the competition was called off after consultation with the victim and their team, Team Elantré stated that despite the incident, the college continued their event.
The victims have filed an FIR (First Information Report) with the appropriate authorities, seeking a thorough investigation. The members of Team Elantre, along with their parents, protested for nearly 6 hours in the college but claim to have received no further updates from the institution.
Read also: The Invasion of IPCW: A Student’s Account
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