Gargi College ‘Molestation’: SC Refuses PIL Seeking CBI Probe Into
The Supreme Court on Thursday, 13 February, refused to entertain a plea seeking a CBI probe monitored by it into the alleged molestation of students during a cultural festival at the all-women Gargi College in Delhi last week.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked lawyer M L Sharma, who mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing, to move the Delhi High Court with his plea.
“Why don't you go to the Delhi HC. If they dismiss the petition then you come here,” the Bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said.
A case has been registered at Hauz Khas Police Station under Sections 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) of the IPC.
At least ten persons have been arrested in connection with the case.
‘Fact-Finding Committee in Place to Meet With Complainants,’ Says Principal
The principal of Gargi college, Dr Promola Kumar told ANI, “We at Gargi unequivocally condemn the outrageous incident that took place on 6 February during the annual fest. We are committed to the safety and security of our students, we’ve set up a fact-finding committee to meet with the complainants, eye-witnesses and any other person having relevant information.”
She added that the college would approach the police at the earliest.
“Institute will file a report of complaints to the Police at the earliest so perpetrators can be brought to justice. We'll set up a security protocol to ensure such incidents never take place again,” Kumar said.
‘Misbehaviour With Students Disappointing’
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on 10 February, said that it needs to be made sure that the students are absolutely safe in their colleges, responding to the incident at Delhi University’s Gargi college, where the students were allegedly molested by outsiders during the college festival.
“The misbehaviour with our daughters in Delhi University's Gargi college is very sad and disappointing. This will not be tolerated at all,” Kejriwal said in a tweet. Further, he said the culprits should be held and strict punishment meted out to them.
Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ took note of the alleged molestation of students at Delhi University’s Gargi College, and said the college administration has been asked to look into the matter.
Replying to Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi’s question in Lok Sabha, Pokhriyal, on Monday, 10 February, said outsiders were behind the alleged molestation of students at the all-women college, and the administration of the institute has been told to take action.
DCW Takes Cognizance, Summons Principal on 13 Feb
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Monday summoned the Principal of Gargi College, Dr Promila Kumar, asking her to appear before it on 13 February in connection with the incident.
Earlier, DCW Chief Swati Maliwal had condemned the incident, saying action should be taken against the outsiders who were allowed inside the college.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Maliwal said, “Action should be taken against those who did this and those who protected them,” Maliwal said.
She had slammed the Delhi Police for not filing an FIR in the matter. “It is a shame that the police has not filed an FIR yet. Those who have done this must get strictest of punishment,” she said, ANI reported.
Maliwal also reached the college on Monday morning to take stock of the situation amid protests within the college campus against Saturday’s incident.
Students of the all-women college have organised a protest against the goings-on at the annual festival. Heavy police force has been deployed outside the college in order to maintain the law and order situation in the area.
What Happened at Gargi
The incident took place on the third day of the annual fest, on which singer Jubin Nautiyal was scheduled to perform.
Earlier, at least six students from the Delhi University college alleged that they were molested by unidentified men during their college fest ‘Reverie’ on Thursday, 6 February.
Several other students and alumni, who attended the fest, told The Quint that there was a serious lapse in security on the night in question, with the college administration allowing people who did not have the required passes, to enter the fest.
A student, who did not want to identify herself, and is currently pursuing Applied Psychology, said that a large crowd started gathering as early as 3:30 pm outside the college’s two gates.
“It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. The men who were inside were putting their hands on anyone and everyone and kept moving,” a student told The Quint on 9 February.
Further, some students told us that the principal, Dr Promila Kumar, went on to ask the students why they come to these fests if they don't feel safe.
Meanwhile, left-group AIDWA on Monday alleged that CAA supporters were involved in the molestation of students.
“A group of pro-CAA protestors passed by and broke into the premises. They scaled the walls of the college to enter it. They were drunk and shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans. They molested and manhandled the girls," they said in a statement.