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New Delhi, February 10, 2020
A suo motu probe by a senior police officer has been initiated into the alleged manhandling and molestation at the all-girls Gargi College in south Delhi last week, police said on Monday.
"We have initiated suo motu investigations into allegations of molestation and manhandling of students during the annual fest 'Reverie 2020'," Deputy Commissioner of Police Atul Thakur told IANS.
An Additional Deputy Commissioner-rank official will head the probe into the incidents on the college campus on February 6, Day 3 of the college annual fest.
A second-year student of political science at the Gargi College told IANS on phone: "Around 6.30 pm on that day, the college ground was milling with crowd. There was no space even to move. I was separated from two of my friends accompanying me... and in 10-15 minutes thereafter, I was groped thrice."
Asserting that the allegations were a serious issue, College Principal Dr Promila Kumar told IANS: "We had made tight security arrangements, including deployment of police, bouncers and even commandos, along with teaching and non-teaching staff. No one approached us to report any such incident. We were making rounds in the crowd. No doubt there was a large crowd but we were very vigilant and couldn't see anything of this sort happened."
Asked about students' charge that she didn't help them, the Principal said: "It is false. One of the students approached me. I asked her to stay with me until the situation turned normal but she suddenly disappeared."
Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has summoned the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and the Principal of Gargi College over the alleged sexual harassment on its campus.
Calling it "mass molestation and sexual assault on female students on Gargi College campus", the DCW has asked the Principal and the DCP to personally appear before it at 2 p.m. on February 13.
"The students have alleged a similar incident had taken place during the fest of the previous year, but no action was taken by the administration," says the summon.
The Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994 mandates the DCW to investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the Constitution and give recommendations to the government on the issue of women safety and Section 10(iii)(d).
The DCW has also sought copies of all complaints, PCR calls, the action-taken report, detailed report on the incident, including the sequence of events, copy of FIR as well as detailed investigation report.
The commission has asked the DCP whether any accused has been identified and arrested. If no arrest has been made then submit the reasons for it, it said. Also submit "details of officials responsible for safety and security of students and the campus, and action taken against them," it said.
The DCW has asked the college administration why it didn't intervene during the alleged assault and allowed the culprits to leave the campus despite the police presence. The college administration has been asked to submit a copy of footage of CCTVs on the campus between 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on February 6.
A few students of Gargi College on Saturday alleged that some "drunken men", said to be pro-CAA demonstrators, entered the campus and misbehaved with students.