On Friday, students and activists protested at Delhi University's Arts Faculty over the alleged harassment of students at an event organized at Indraprastha College for Women. They also claimed that police had manhandled and detained them.
According to a report published by PTI, a police official said that the protesting students were peacefully detained and removed from the area. But the ground reality says otherwise, The Mooknayak was present at the protest site inside the Delhi University’s Campus. There was heavy police deployment outside Indraprastha College for Women and Arts Faculty of Delhi University. The protesting students were dragged inside the police vans, they were forcefully lifted by the police officers.
The protest was led by the All India Students Association (AISA) along with students from Indraprastha College for Women and Delhi University.
A day prior to the protest AISA tweeted a poster from its Twitter handle that said, “Azaadi March: From KNC to Gargi, From MH to DRC and now IPCW- Women of DU want answers!”
The protesting students are demanding the resignation of IPCW’s principal Poonam Kumria over inaction on the harassment that happened during the fest along with that the students demand the arrest of all the perpetrators in the alleged case and have also demanded to instate GSCASH (Gender sensitization committee against sexual harassment).
What led to the protests ?
Few days back an annual college fest named ‘Shruti’ was organized at Indraprastha College for Women. During this, a group of men created a ruckus, after which students have been protesting against the alleged harassment that happened by those unidentified men during the fest.
After this, the Delhi police claimed that they have filed a case and detained seven people who were allegedly accused after recording the girls' statements.
An AISA (All India Students Association) activist tweeted about this on the same day and wrote, "IPCW’s fest was well underway when inebriated males climbed the fences, forced their way onto the campus, and harassed gender minorities. "Miranda IP dono hamara" and "Miranda nahi chhoda to IP bhi nahi chhodenge" were being chanted by those men."
The students demonstrated outside the arts faculty and within the IPCW campus. According to AISA, which is leading the protest, numerous students within the college formed a human chain to express their "dissent over the shameless method with which the college administration has been acting and working for the past few days."
According to a report published by IANS, a senior police official said in a statement that “Festival ‘Shurti’, a fest intended only for women, was held on the grounds of IP College. According to the reports, a performance by Asees Kaur was scheduled for Tuesday. Tentative festival hours were 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.”
The officer provided more information, stating, "There were too many students in the college area close to the gate. By 3 o'clock in the afternoon, a few overeager students suddenly began rushing to get into the institution. Some of the students fell to the ground as a result of the process' intense strain on the gates. Some of them were hurt."
The officer went on to say that they had recorded the students' statements and that a complaint under sections 188 and 337 of the IPC had been filed as a result of their accusations. In addition, the police said that they had detained anyone attempting to cause a scene. Arrests will be made based on CCTV footage and other scraps of evidence.
The Mooknayak reached out to AISA DU secretary Anjali, who is also a student of the same college. Anjali smashed the claims of arrests made by Delhi Police and said, “We have asked for the copy of FIR from the Delhi police but they haven’t shown us any FIR registered, we don’t even know if they have arrested anybody or not. Delhi Police is busy detaining protesting students rather than the actual perpetrators.”
“Delhi Police showed its ugliest form:” AISA
The AISA-led ‘Azaadi March’ was called on Friday to raise voices against the rape and harassment culture in gender minority colleges of Delhi University, be it Miranda House, Daulat Ram College, Kamla Nehru, or Gargi College.
Student protesters started their march from Patel Chest Institute inside the Delhi University Campus and started moving towards Miranda House later when they came towards the Art Faculty to start a public meeting, they were detained by the Delhi Police.
"The Delhi Police showed its ugliest form by beating students and pathetically harassing women and detaining all protesters from AISA's Azadi March at DU arts Faculty," the AISA, which organized the march, said in a statement.
“Female students were being detained by male police officers initially when we reached the arts faculty. During the process we were literally groped by breasts,” said Anjali while speaking to The Mooknayak.
Delhi University’s campus was fortified with heavy police deployment. Outside the campus of Indraprastha College for Women, there were water canons put in to intimidate the protesting students. The level of police force deployed outside the campus was enough to threaten a layman and made him wonder if there’s a terror activity going on in the area.
Later in the day, Anjali a protesting student and AISA secretary went to the hospital to get MLC done. MEDICO-LEGAL CASE (MLC) are cases wherever the attending doctor after taking the history and clinical examination of the patient thinks that some investigation by law enforcement agencies are essential so as to fix the responsibility regarding the case in accordance with the law of land. This medical document also determines whether you have been hurt by somebody else or not.
During the conversation, Anjali said, “I have named ACP Civil Lines Satender Yadav in the MLC document as he groped me while detention, and people saw that. While I was in the hospital, they called the police to confirm if something like that happened or not and the police directly said no, after which the person examining me asked absurd questions from me saying are you serious about your allegations.”
“The hospital authorities even denied my MLC report to be done, after which we told them that we’ll be calling the team of lawyers,” added Anjali.
AISA and the protesting group allege that many students were injured while they were being detained by the Delhi police. Some got serious injuries while others also got injured in the process.
CRPF & Delhi Police escorted IPCW’s Principal out of the campus while trampling students
Later on Friday evening, Delhi police along with the security personnel formed a human chain to escort the IPCW’s principal out of the campus. In the move’s retaliation, students also formed a human chain to stop the Principal from leaving the campus without addressing the inhumane behavior experienced by the college students for protesting against harassment that happened inside the campus.
During the hustle, students allege that they were trampled by Delhi police and even by the Principal. The irony of the protest is that students are getting harassed all over again while protesting against the harassment.
“From day-1 of the protests we have encountered violence by Delhi Police and arrogance by our own administration,” says Anjali.
Journalists and media persons were not allowed inside the Indraprastha College, when The Mooknayak asked about the same, college guards said it was ordered by the administration not to allow journalists from entering the campus.
Delhi Police was also busy removing people from the protest site saying section 144 had been imposed. The question here is why were Delhi Police and administration paranoid about a student's protest. Students still demand the resignation of IPCW’s Principal and tough action against the injustice they are facing for protesting in a democracy.