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Chandigarh Uni Girls Call Off Protest Amid Video Leak: What Happened Overnight?

Protests were called off around 2 am on 19 September. The grounds were cleared at 3:30 am, but what happened?

Published
Gender
4 min read
Chandigarh Uni Girls Call Off Protest Amid Video Leak: What Happened Overnight?
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Around 9 pm on Sunday, 18 September, the ground next to the Department of Student Welfare in Mohali's Chandigarh University witnessed scenes like never before.

At least 500 students, both boys and girls, had gathered on the grounds, shouting slogans of 'Paisa, Paisa' and 'Punjab Police Muradabad', demanding a fair probe in connection with the alleged leak of the private videos of 60 female students of the university.

After almost six hours of back and forth between the students, the Punjab Police, and the Chandigarh University, the protests were called off around 2 am on 19 September.

Speaking to The Quint, a student, who was a part of the protests on both 17 and 18 September's night, said:

"We agreed to call off the protests because the Punjab Police has assured a fair enquiry into the matter. I have not seen any video, but my friend got a call from someone who said that he has seen her video. I want justice. Police should not take money to hide the truth."

Multiple students who spoke to The Quint said that they "strongly believe" that there are video of other girls too that the authorities are trying to suppress.

While none of them have seen the other videos, they "have been receiving calls from other students" who claim to have seen the videos. The Quint has not seen any version of the alleged viral video on social media.

"They are telling lies. They need to tell us what happened to the girls who fainted in the hospital," a girl, who is pursuing law and hails from Haryana, told The Quint.

In a statement earlier, the university refuted these claims: "All the rumours of objectionable videos shot of other girl students are totally false and baseless. No videos were found of any student which are objectionable except a personal video shot by a girl which was shared by her with her boyfriend."
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Students 'Question' Punjab Police, Demand Probe

Muskan Yadav, who is pursuing a BSc in Forensic Science, told The Quint earlier in the day that while her parents had been asking her to return home at the earliest, she does not want to leave the campus.

As students like Muskan gathered around 9 pm for protest, the Punjab Police first reached out to them to form a committee to which they will answer their queries. However, the girls continued to raise questions over the probe, making the Punjab Police promise a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the matter.

On 19 September, a three-member SIT was constituted under the supervision of senior IPS officer Gurpreet Kaur Deo, to conduct a high-level probe into the matter, said Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav.

Two Other Arrests Made From Shimla

One of the reasons, cited by the students, to call off protests is also the arrest of two men from Shimla.

According to police sources, a 23-year-old man, who is reportedly the boyfriend of the girl who recorded the videos, was nabbed from Himachal Pradesh and handed over to the Punjab Police. The Himachal Pradesh Police also detained a 31-year-old man in connection with the case.

"We want to see the copy of FIR. If there was no other video, why were the two men arrested? We have been asked to wait for the investigation, and we will. But we want a fair probe in the matter, as it can affect all our futures."
A Chandigarh University Student told The Quint
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Girls Scale Walls After Being 'Locked Up' in Hostel

All through 18 September, students have been trying ways and means to stage protests, despite being "locked up" in the hostel, they claimed.

The Quint has accessed audio clips and messages from the administration asking the students not to protest. In a video, girl students from Tagore Hostel were seen climbing the gates to come out to protest, forcing the administration to open the gate.

Meanwhile, in an audio clip shared with The Quint by the students, a warden of the girls' hostel is heard asking the girls to come for a "one-day picnic to nearby places to lift their mood," after the events of the day.

"Whoever wants to go on a one-day trip or picnic right now, I will come to your floor. You can give me your name and mobile number. This will lift your mood from whatever has happened today. Please take permission from your parents."

Hundreds of boys, who are also students at the same university and joined the girls in the protest, were also questioned police officials on both 17 and 18 September over their intention to protest.

"Yesterday, when we were protesting we were asked about our motive. We were asked why were protesting for the girls, who were not even our sisters?" a student who joined the protest on both the days said.

Another student claimed, "One boy was taking videos. The police took away his phone and told him come to the police station tomorrow morning, all your videos will be deleted. There is no proof left."

An official statement of the Chandigarh University states that all academic activity will be suspended from 19-24 September. On the morning of 19 September, hundreds of students were seen leaving the campus.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani
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