In light of recent events, safety in North Campus has been proven fragile. But even the failure in this test has not incentivized the necessary authoritative action.
Delhi University’s North Campus is famously known for its prestigious colleges. Some of the best colleges in the country are all smattered in close vicinity to each other. But in recent months, the same area has come to be known for its increasing crime rates.
On 2nd December, a tragic incident happened in the campus at nightfall. The incident started doing rounds on social media in a couple of days, to the utter disbelief and outrage of all students and residents of North Campus alike.
In the Facebook post, shared by multiple people, the following message was broadcasted:
“With utmost shock and anger, we inform you that our dear friend, Sandipan, a PhD student of Delhi School of Economics, was attacked by a couple of phone snatchers with knife late night on 2nd December. He was stabbed multiple times and is now admitted at Hindu Rao Hospital. The incident happened on the Naala bridge at Patel Chest. This is just opposite the Maurice Nagar Police Station.”
Pointedly, the area in question is a frequently visited place by all students in North Campus. A huge number of students reside around the area and so, the famous food outlets of North Campus are accessed via the same road. However, the incident raises questions on the presumed comforts and safety of the area, that the students expect before they take up expensive lodgings there.
The post continued, “Despite giving the number of the bike to the police, no action has yet been taken. The incident and the police inaction is telling of how dangerous our own campus has become.”
Multiple cases of phones being snatched have been reported by students. Within the first week of the commencement of college, a student of Hindu College lost her phone to the self-same phone-snatchers. Another student of Hindu College, on her way back from Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station to her PG in Shakti Nagar said, “I was sitting in a rickshaw with three other friends. The rickshaw came to a halt in front of Daulat Ram College where two men on a bike rushed past us and took away my phone.” The incident was traumatic for her to recount later.
As reported by DU Beat earlier, Aashish Jain, a student of Kirori Mal College (KMC) recalled the incident when his mobile phone was snatched. “I was right outside the college gate when I was on a call,” he said, adding that he hadn’t realised that people on motorbikes were keeping a watchful eye on him. “I disconnected the call, and was going to put the phone in my pocket when one of them snatched it from my hand and ran off on their motorbike.”
Unfortunately, safety is not a concern because of these material losses alone. Safety of girls is as always only an agenda in the pompous manifestos of all political parties. A student recalled being stalked by a group of men in their car when she was returning from her college one evening. Such stories are far from uncommon. It is sad that we should demand for gender-specific safety in such an eminent area.
Casual sexism and misogyny that all of us observe everyday go on to show that legal action in seclusion cannot ensure safety of women. We need a more ‘human’ approach towards the issue. Calling out such abominable behaviour is our resistance. It is ironic how an area that is marked for its institutions and their excellence, should be called out for its degrading safety measures.
“Delhi Police must immediately book the perpetrators,” notes the same Facebook post (aforementioned). “DU administration and the Delhi Police must ensure safety of students around the campus and around every college of DU.”
The inaction of the authorities can easily be explained in their inability to apprehend the perpetrators as yet. It is high time that proper action is taken. The ignorance towards these seemingly petty crimes may prove more harmful otherwise.
Feature Image Credits: Dailymail