College is often a foray into many new experiences, a lot of which involves the night life. The glamorous ideal of Delhi clubbing, parking lots filled with fancy G-wagons, tons of booze, popping DJ sets has often attracted many young students, looking to enjoy the first dregs of freedom associated with university. However, behind the glitz, many realize that the city that never sleeps doesn’t always have to offer the best experiences once the sun sets.

Clubs are inherently unsafe for many, especially women. Dingy lighting, crowds of strange men, all under the influence of alcohol, and usually heavily intoxicated, spell disaster for several young students. Almost all young women have faced some degree of assault at clubs, from something as easily brushed off as cat-calling, to serious cases of assault.

My first few experiences in Delhi clubs hadn’t been the worst, somehow I had warded off creepy stares or unwanted gropes, but a few months into having moved to the city, I ended up at Ansal Plaza, a place frequented by DU students looking to party. This changed the false sense of security I had gained over the past few months. I suddenly felt suffocated and unsafe, I could feel the stare of random men. I ended up leaving in 30 minutes. Since then, I became more wary of the situations I put myself in. However, I now have a deep seated fear, one that usually gets me whilst traveling back in Ubers late at night, at how women often lose out on the joy of many experiences, because of the sense of endangerment created for them.

Other female students have had similar experiences,

There have been several times when I have been stared at or groped, in many of the supposedly elite clubs in the city. But I guess these are just the things that come with being a girl, and don’t deter me from having my fun” – Siona Arora, B.A. Programme, Kamala Nehru College

 But the issue runs deeper than just personal experiences, incidents like drink spiking run rampant across clubs in general, where women usually account for more than half of the visitors. Articles like this one suggest measures like, regulated security personnel, more female security members, checking men for drugs and a general no-tolerance policy towards drug use in clubs.

Adding to this, several unaware college students, many of whom hail from non-urban areas in India and are unfamiliar with the workings of the city, its various areas or clubs in general, are especially vulnerable to being exploited in such scenarios. Being charged extra money to enter into “exclusive events”, women being forced to couple up with often strange men to enter into clubs, commuting late at night in cabs through unknown roads or routes etc. can all ruin youngsters’ attempts to just have a good night.

Read also – https://dubeat.com/2023/05/25/du-reconstitutes-a-women-safety-committee-in-all-women-colleges/

Image Credits – Getty Images

Chaharika Uppal

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

On 20th March when the entire country was celebrating Nirbhaya case verdict, a twenty-six-year-old girl made a complaint against three policemen accusing them of sexual assault and attempt to rape. The Police offered no support and even refused to file any complaint.

A young woman, officially a citizen of Uganda visited India to attend to her father admitted to a hospital for medical treatment. She claims that three policemen attempting to rape her near a cremation ground at Arjun Nagar/Green Park area on the intermediary night of 20th/21st March. Mentioning the names of the two of the three accused as Mr. Naresh Kumar and Mr. Ashok Kumar, to the best of her knowledge, posted at Safdarjung Enclave she questioned their duties as policemen.

In the complaint published on Facebook, she stated on the night of 20th March, she came to Green Park to meet an acquaintance, waiting for her outside a 24×7 store, two policemen, Naresh Kumar and Ashok Kumar came to her on a bike. While the driver of the bike went inside the store the other unreasonably began beating her with a cane. On asking an explanation the two officials pushed her inside a nearby parked police car. They stopped the car near a police barricade on Green Park road and shifted her in another car and claimed of taking her to a police station.

The complaint read that the second car had only the driver while the two policemen kept following on their bike. The driver and the two officials stopped near the cremation ground and forced the female to get out, restraining her hands behind her back they snatched her phone, scratched her face, removed her clothes and attempted to molest her sexually. She somehow ran and managed to reach the main road, where she tried taking help from a lady in a passing car. Hearing all the noises Mr. Shahab Ahmed, resident of a nearby society came down to enquire.

“12: 15 am I came out of my apartment intrigued by the cries and chaos, I saw three policemen and furious naked women crying. I asked why this woman is naked why there is no action being taken. The victim was shouting and pointed the officials claiming them as monsters for raping her. There were no female officials at the site, it was only after twenty minutes that a female official, Ms. Priti arrived. There was no support from her, despite me repeatedly asking for the reason of not yet filing a FIR she kept ignoring and failed in providing any assistance or even a satisfactory answer,” said Mr. Ahmed.

Ms. Swati, a lady from the crowd took the victim along with the cops to the police station. “Once we reached the police station there was no cooperation. There was no attempt made to file a complaint. There was no investigation, the questions she was asked were why she was there at that time of the night. She was never asked what exactly happened with her and what all she went through,” stated Swati.

She further claims the police never returned the victim’s phone. “Whenever any inquiry regarding it was made it was either ignored or tossed around,” she stated.

The complaint mentions the cops intimidating, threatening and verbally abusing the victim with sexist slurs. “There were abuses harassment, threats, references to her as prostitute continuously for five hours in the police station after her MLC was done,” informed Mr. Ahmed. The complaint also mentions SI Brijesh Kumar threatening to get the female put behind the bars on the fabricated charges of illegal immigration, sex work, and extortion. He even denied knowing nothing about the whereabouts of the victim’s phone. Pinjra Tod, an autonomous collective of women students even called for a Twitter storm with #delhipolicefilefir, #delhipolicesharmkaro and others seeking justice for her.

Featured Image Credits: Times of India 


Kriti Gupta 

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Gargi College’s Fact-Finding Committee had a GBM with the college’s students on Day 7 of the demonstration against the incidents of Reverie and addressed concerns regarding the issue.

A statement released for Day 7 of the demonstration in Gargi College against the sexual harassment incident that occurred at this year’s Reverie stated that the college’s Fact-Finding Committee which was formed to gather official evidence regarding the incident had a GBM with the students.

In the meeting, various concerns were raised. The fact-finding committee found out that there was a “gross lapse in the overall security of the fest”, and that it was the fault of the administration who had underestimated the expected peep count at the event. The committee also recommended that the college’s staff be sensitised to gender issues after many students complained about the lax attitudes of the administration when the misdemeanours had first been reported.

The Committee also said that a second, more conclusive report would be constructed to address the event in its entirety, and laid emphasis on the fact that the college’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) is grossly biased and compromised. As a result, a decision has been taken to form a new ICC as per the requirements of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The committee is to be formed by the end of February.

The Committee has also stated that due to available discrepancies in the report existing on various different levels, and with the Delhi Police not having answered any of the questions posed by the committee as of now, it would take time to form and finalise a conclusive report.

Another concern made by the students was regarding the budget of Reverie, and where it was spent, with the administration having spent little to none on security. As a result, the budget was presented but not in its entirety, and students are therefore looking for alternatives to an RTI to gauge the budget.

The students also requested the resignation of the teachers and administrators who were directly responsible for the lapse of security from their posts as OC of Reverie, and this will be decided upon by the Governing Body of the College.

After the FCC came out with its findings, the student union of Gargi released a notice stating that they would now aim at redress all for student welfare.

Feature Image Credits: Sanyukta Singh

Shreya Juyal

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The Delhi High Court suggested inclusion of CBI for further inspection in the mass molestation at Reverie, Gargi College, case. Moreover, HC has also mandated, retrieval of every visual footage captured through the CCTV camera of the College for further evidence.

On 17th of February 2020, in the wake of the Gargi College mass molestation case, new developments have been made, and it’s come up that the Delhi High Court has served a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and the Delhi Police, regarding a petition which is aimed at a ‘court monitored CBI inspection’ into the claimed molestation case, which happened in the College, during the star night at Reverie, the annual cultural fest of Gargi College, earlier that week.

As detailed in the petition of advocate M.L. Sharma, retrieval of every visual footage captured through the CCTV camera of the University has to be maintained for further evidence . The court heard his petition where he claimed that nothing had been done as of yet and he further said,”On 9th February, FIR was registered by the police and a handful of people were arrested.” The court has decided 30th April 2020 for further hearing on this matter after registering the responses from the authorities.

The plea was registered on 13th February 2020, Thursday, upon facing a rejection from the Supreme Court and at a suggestion to move to the hearing at the High Court instead. This plea suggests to preserve all video and camera footage that can be retrieved through campus’s CCTV camera. The aim is to put those behind the bars who are associated with this criminal conspiracy.

On 12th February, ten people, between the age of 18 and 25, who were found complicit in the crime were detained by the police. However, the very next day witnessed their release on bail and two more further arrests.

The police claims that over 11 teams visited various sites in the National Capital Region(NCR), to look over technical details in connection with recognition of suspects related with the case. It’s said that allegedly the Delhi police filed the case upon receiving a complaint from the end of college authorities.

A case was registered at the Hauz Khas police station under the Indian Penal Code Section 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).


Feature Image Source: Anonymous

Umaima Khanam

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This piece attempts to highlight the root of mass sexual harassment that occurred at Gargi College’s fest, Reverie. 

The evening of 6 February was supposed to be a memorable one for the students of Gargi College. It was the last day of their annual fest Reverie, with a concert from the singer Jubin Nautiyal lined up to end the proceedings of the day. Instead of a good time, what the young women of Gargi experienced was horror and outrage. As the evening progressed, a large number of men were able to enter the campus. The safeguards to ensure the safety of the students broke down. Mobs of men entered the campus. There were reports after reports of women being harassed – groping, cat-calling, teasing, stalking, manhandling and even being masturbated at. Reverie 2020 ended with Gargi students being not just sexually harassed en masse by mobs of unruly men but were also overwhelmed and exhausted by anger, anxiety, and trauma as they scrambled to save themselves from the oncoming onslaught.

Reports of women facing sexual harassment by a group of men are, unfortunately, are not uncommon news in the country. However, the campus invasion at Gargi College represents a particularly heinous manifestation of such crimes. A large number of men, invading a women’s college for the sole purpose of sexual harassment without any pretext, represents the abject failure of both the state and society to ensure the safety of women. The state authority has either been incapable or unwilling to wield power to protect women. At the level of society, a culture of impunity has been looking the other way by downplaying issues of space and consent. Lack of accountability has become the common feature binding the two.


Abdication of Responsibility

Arrangements that are supposed to ensure the safety of the students, especially women, were either incapable or complicit. College administration did not take action. No authority figure stuck his or her neck out in saving the students. The Rapid Action Force, often seen at the forefront when cracking down violently on peaceful protests across the country, was mostly an audience to this spectacle of fellow men, some in their middle ages, molesting young, college-going women. The principal, as per many reports, victim-blamed the students, arguing that if the fest feels unsafe then they should not have come to the college fest at all. All governmental slogans about women empowerment and education were exposed for what they are – hollow words, backed by no will or capability. The Gargi students were left to fend for themselves, forced to confront physical and emotional distress that entails saving oneself from the unimpeded mob.


Indian Men and the Social Rot

The seriousness of the mass sexual harassment at Gargi College becomes clear when understood through the idea of space violation. Firstly, the campus as a safe space for women was violated by the gangs of men that used mob pressure to enter the campus. Secondly, the personal space of each of the Gargi students itself was violated when the mob of men went ahead and sexually assaulted them. Some serious questions arise about the kind of social contexts that create a molester mob. Why are so many men still not able to grasp the question of consent? Almost every heinous televised rape often sparks off conversations about women’s security but this is often limited to the punishment of rapists only, rather than the mindset which leads to it. Why are there still so many men that show no signs that they understand the importance of space and consent in women’s safety? These questions are for the men to ask themselves.

The men who molested the women of Gargi didn’t come from outer space. To use arguments such as “they were from outside”, “they were from ABC caste or XYZ state” is a reflection on the general attitudes around women and women’s spaces that abound in a large segment of men. The molestation at Gargi arose out of nowhere. Everyday sexism about women and their sexuality played a huge enabling role. The spade must be called a spade. Those men intruded because they interpreted a college fest, where students want to partake in all sorts of curricular and extracurricular activities or simply enjoy themselves as an invitation to harass. The patriarchal mindset that has multiple excuses to harass women also condones women’s spaces to the same fate. There were enough men on that evening who thought of Gargi in a similar way, as a place to hunt down and sexually harass women. There were enough men that evening who cooperated with each other in this collective display of toxic masculinity that would put any civilized society to shame.


The Need For Accountability

One of the biggest reasons that mass molestation of this magnitude could happen is the utter lack of accountability at every level. At the topmost level, being defensive and being in denial has become the ruling norm. As an issue of law and order in the capital, the Central Government is responsible if the police fail to respond credibly to a mob whose purpose of sexual harassment is plainly visible. This lack of response is not unique to Gargi College and is not unique to the issue of women’s safety exclusively. Over the last few months, the ruling party has demonized universities in general for different reasons and their allied media has been actively encouraging this discourse as well. This discourse is laden with aggressive slogans that draw on toxic masculinity and has often dubbed women’s colleges as places that are “too feminist” (the implication being that feminism is bad). The manifestation of this discourse, done every day in high decibels on TV news shows every day has been that mobs have attacked college campuses, and simply gotten away with it – no FIRs, no complaints and more importantly, no uncomfortable questions.

It has been argued that an unnecessary politicization of Gargi College will hinder the issue of women’s safety. In the context of turning this into a party political issue, the point is understandable. Men have been molesting, raping, assaulting women in this country across different party rules, so to turn this into a party issue is hollow. However, this understanding of “politicization” is a shallow interpretation. Accountability in its very essence is extremely political. If the government of the day keeps undermining the safety of college spaces, it creates a precedent and a culture of impunity. The direction of questions must be upwards – towards the people in power. Until there is a political atmosphere that permits the citizenry to ask questions without the fear of trolling, rape threats and abuses, those in power will continue to evade questions, whether is the issue is women’s safety, higher education, the economy or even national security.

Accountability is also needed for every day. Men must hold fellow men accountable for holding regressive stereotypes, for using language that objectifies and dehumanizes women. The understanding of space and consent is extremely important. It is high time to stop being dismissive of women’s lived experiences on the pretext of being “too emotional” if the interplay between consent and space has to be understood. As the feminist scholar, Carol Hanisch said – “the Personal is Political”. Men being able to violate the geographical and personal spaces of women in this country repeatedly, time and time again, isn’t an isolated problem. It is embedded in the society that produces them. It is not the responsibility of the students of Gargi, angry and frustrated already, to keep this issue neatly contained into packages that feel acceptable to a broad audience. If they question the actors that set the stage for this to happen, so be it.

Featured Image Credits:  Sanyukta Singh

Shivam Bahuguna

Sarvjeet Singh charged in a molestation case filed by Jasleen Kaur, a St. Stephen’s alumnus, acquitted after four years due to untrustworthy testimony by complainant. 

After four years of being called a “pervert” or “Delhi ka darinda” (Delhi’s demon), on 25th October, 28-year-old Sarvjeet Singh was acquitted by Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court of all charges in a molestation case which was filed by Jasleen Kaur, an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College in Delhi University. 

The judgement by Justice M.M. Sonam Gupta provided, according to a report in The Print, “testimony of the complainant is not trustworthy and casts doubt on the case of the prosecution”. It also suggested that Singh was awarded the benefit of doubt as his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable apprehension. 

On August 23rd, 2015, Kaur had posted a photo of Singh on Facebook accusing him of using obscene language and verbally molesting her on the streets of Tilak Nagar, West Delhi. She claimed in her post that Singh threatened her when she clicked his picture stating, “Jo kar sakti hai kar le. Complaint karke dikha, fir dekhiyo kya karta hun main.” (Do what you can do. Try complaining, then see what I will do). 

Within a few hours, the post went viral and caught the Delhi Police’s attention. Singh was found and arrested in a day’s time without his side of the story being heard. Singh had commented on the post saying, “I was at the red light near Aggarwal Sweets at Tilak Nagar from where I had to take a left turn. Ms Jasleen stopped me and others saying they’re helping control the traffic, and I said I am not jumping the red light, left turn is free, and if you want to jump the signal, it’s your wish. The next thing I see is she pulling out her phone and clicking photos of my bike and me and screaming “I’ll go to the cops tomorrow, you will know when they arrest you from your house”.”

Kaur was congratulated by Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, on her act of bravery, as well as by film stars like Sonakshi Sinha. She was also awarded a cash prize of INR 5,000 by Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi for her courage.

It was reported in The Print in September 2018, three years after the incident, that Kaur hadn’t attended a single hearing in the matter making it difficult to begin the case. Only in December 2018, after missing 14 hearings, did she show up to defend her absence. She claimed that she had “educational commitments” in Canada to pursue her studies in Human Resources. At the same time, Singh struggled with his job and had to take permission from the police every time he wished to leave the city. 

On finally being acquitted, Singh said “I am feeling free today. Justice has been done and the tag of a criminal that I had been walking around with has been lifted. The judge had asked my lawyers if there were any witnesses to be produced. When my lawyers said that the witnesses could be called in the next hearing, the judge replied saying there was no need as the court had decided to free me. My lawyer and I looked at each other in disbelief and then I just broke into tears.”

Apart from this, he also claimed that he wished to seek an apology from all those who defamed him without solid proof, primarily senior journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of news channel Times Now, Arnab Goswami. “Mr Arnab should apologise. He called me a pervert in front of the world but now the court has acquitted me. He crushed my image, so he should now restore it,” Singh added. He also wrote on Facebook, “Agar duniya aap news channels ko dekhti hai to wo us news par belive kar lete hai…it is a req ki pehle sach pata kare..fir duniya ko dikhaye.. sirf TRP he sab kuch nahi hoti. (The audience believes the news that they are shown by the news channels. It is a request to broadcast news only once it’s confirmed. TRP isn’t everything)”.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]


On January 18, 2017, at the onset of a new semester, a first year student of Daulat Ram College was sexually assaulted by an employee of the Indian Overseas Bank that is inside the college. The incident came to light after the victim decided to share it with an ABVP activist in her college. “She came to me to ask whether she could leave the college. She was shivering. When I asked her why she wanted to leave, she broke down and told me that the man had unzipped her jacket and touched her inappropriately,” said Priya Sharma, the activist with whom the incident was first shared.

The 52 year old accused, Devinder Kumar, had apparently helped out the victim when she needed funds for her mother’s treatment. She lost her father a few years back and stays with her mother and an uncle in the Moti Nagar area. The accused also offered her a ride to college, claiming to live in the same area, which she accepted. The victim said he had made her uncomfortable prior to the incident as well, touching her under the pretense of changing gears while driving, but she put it down as an accident and chose to ignore it. She was traumatised when it happened again on their commute to college. Before she shared her plight with Priya Sharma, she had decided to not report it and instead drop out of college. The college authorities were made aware of the case after a few other college students wrote a letter to the Principal, who then reported it to the police. The Prinicipal of Daulat Ram College, Savita Rai, said that the incident took place around 11:45 a.m., and even though it didn’t take place inside the college, it was reported to the police as soon as it was brought to their notice.

An FIR was lodged at the Maurice Nagar Police Station, where the accused confessed to the crime and was charged under section 354 for molestation, which is a non-bailable offence. Reportedly, the court was supposed to proceed with the hearing for the case from January 19 onwards. The victim is currently undergoing counseling.

Feature Image: wired.com

Radhika Boruah

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The role of a journalist is to gather and report news. At certain times, such as the case with the recent Guwahati molestation, a reporter can be torn between his job as a broadcaster of news and his calling as a human being.

Without passing judgment on why the reporter chose to film the incident, let us think of the various situations that were presented to this journalist.

Watching a scene as horrifying as that unfold and taking no step to control the situation is akin to being a perpetrator of the crime itself. Here was a person, who stood there and watched the incident while condemning it (hopefully!) in his mind. This was a supposedly educated mob (logically linking from the fact that all were exiting from an expensive bar) who perpetrated the crime when a sole voice of reason could have stopped them.

Moving on from those who committed the crime, let us now focus on the victim. She is perhaps still caught in a state of trauma, having lost complete faith in humanity. Perhaps she wouldn’t have felt so, if someone or anyone had tried to help her. Perhaps that could once again establish her faith in life.

On the other hand, our society encourages and needs journalists who are ‘inhumane’, who choose to stand back and watch and in some cases – and record. In a nation like ours, we document more than 1 rape a day in the capital. It is so common now that it does not even warrant a mention in the front page of most leading dailies. Yet, India needs the shock-treatment in the form of a video to start a movement. There are rapes and molestations that cry themselves hoarse in search of justice and yet this girl in Guwahati, gets all the limelight. The reason being, her molestation was taped. What would have happened if the tape didn’t exist? Oh well, she would end up being just another victim of our inefficient justice system. Most of the mob would never be identified or dragged to court. So has the journalist done the girl a service here? Has he managed to ensure that the girl gets justice? Will this give her closure? A sense of peace?

Likewise, it’s believed that a journalist’s job is to be impartial and fair, which subsequently means that the journalist is to not engage in the brawl himself! And such behaviour has been rewarded too– Yazushi Nagaha won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for the photograph of an assassination, where this journalist had to move 5 feet to adjust his lens-focus, valuable time in which he easily could have intercepted the murderer.


Arnav Das
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