A college fest turned out to be the worst nightmare for the students of Gargi College in Delhi after a mob of hundreds of men gatecrashed the campus and sexually assaulted women en masse. The ordeal of the students worsened after the college administration refused to take any action despite receiving a scurry of complaints.
The incident came to light after students recounted horrific accounts of mass molestation on social media, and slammed the administration’s lacklustre approach towards the security of the students on the night of “Reverie” fest. The students also led a protest march on Monday.
“We were preparing for our star night when Zubin Nautiyal had to come. The fest is a very exuberant time for us. Suddenly, we saw a crowd gatecrashing the campus. They moved inside the huge ground and owned it and we, the students, ran for our safety,” said Surbhi Bhind Nautiyal, a Sanskrit student of the college.
The students said that usually non-Delhi University students are given passes to enter the Gargi College campus. However, this time, the crowd scaled walls and barged into the campus.
“Within minutes, the air was filled with “stink” of alcohol and smoke. Soon after the mob entered, they began molesting us and many ran for their lives. I was one of them. However, some students were even followed till the metro station and eve-teased,” Nautiyal added.
Shivani Yadav, another Sanskrit student said, “It was such a harrowing experience that the girls are adamant on an action by the administration.” Both the students alleged that the “gang of men” entered the campus to “harass women”
“It looked like a planned attack. It seems they had their eyes on our fest and were looking for an entry point to horrify us and harass us. We were violated inside our campus, where we are supposed to feel safe. We have guards in our college, but they are ill-equipped to deal with this kind of mob attack.”
Besides, several students have alleged that Rapid Action Force and Delhi Police personnel were deployed close to the gate from where the men allegedly entered.
Recalling the moment when the mob entered the campus, one of the students, said, “There were middle-aged men jumping over the fence over the high walls. The fence was put over the walls to save women from any such incident but what a lapse.”
Divya Mangla, a Botany student said, “Students from the Department of Political Science said mostly middle-aged men masturbated at them during the fest. They were all horrified.”
Meanwhile, an online portal, Sarthi, has been created for students to register a complaint. “After that FIR will be filed as assured by the Principal, Mrs Promila Kumar,” Suhana Parveen, a Political Science student, said.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal reached the spot to take stock of the situation and the college administration filed a formal complaint only on Monday afternoon after massive public furore.
Police are scanning footage of CCTV cameras to collect evidence and speaking to students to ascertain facts, he added. The enquiry is being conducted by Additonal DCP (South) Geetanjali Khandelwal, Thakur said.