10 Held in Connection with Alleged Molestation of Students During Cultural Fest at Delhi's Gargi College

A file photo shows Delhi Commission For Women chief Swati Maliwal (in a green sweater) address students at Gargi College. (PTI)

A file photo shows Delhi Commission For Women chief Swati Maliwal (in a green sweater) address students at Gargi College. (PTI)

The police said that many people are being questioned and multiple suspects identified. Footage captured on CCTV showed that the accused barged into the college and broke its gate.

Saahil Menghani
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New Delhi: At least 10 persons were arrested by the Delhi Police on Wednesday in connection with the alleged molestation of students during a cultural festival at the all-women's Gargi College last week.

The accused are between 18 and 25 years of age, said police officials.

Video clips that went viral on social media showed a group of men climbing over the gate of the college and breaking in during the 'Reverie' fest on February 6. Students claim they were allegedly groped, harassed and molested and that security officials just watched when the incident took place.

The police on Wednesday said the accused, arrested in connection with the case registered at Hauz Khas station on February 10, are students of private and public universities in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). They gathered outside the gate of the college, vandalised a car and then broke in, they added.

South Delhi Commissioner of Police A Thakur said more than 11 teams that worked on the case examined the technical details available and visited various sites in NCR to identify the suspects. Probe teams also spoke to the college authorities, he said, adding that more arrests are likely.

Many people are being questioned and multiple suspects have been identified, the police said. Footage captured on CCTV revealed that the accused barged into the college and broke its gate.

Police said the accused jumped over the barricades placed by the college security staff, outnumbered them and then misbehaved with the women students.

Students of Gargi College have boycotted classes since the incident, demanding that the fact-finding committee set up in its aftermath show its findings.

The police action came hours after a petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a CBI-monitored probe into the alleged molestation of students.

Filed by ML Sharma, the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has sought a direction to the central probe agency to seize all video recordings and footage from CCTV cameras around the campus. It also sought arrest of the people behind the "planned criminal conspiracy".

Delhi University earlier on Wednesday condemned the incident, urging the police to take strong action against those involved. The university has also issued an advisory to all principals to ensure safety of women employees and students.

The university has sought an action taken report within two weeks on the steps taken by the colleges to ensure the safety of students on campus, it said in the advisory issued on February 10. It said it has also sought an action taken report from the college principal in the matter.

The Delhi University Registrar in a statement said the university stands by the students of Gargi College in their fight against harassment by some anti-social elements.

"The university strongly condemns the said incident of hooliganism, trespass, and any act violating the modesty of students. The university earnestly appeals to the law enforcement agencies to take strong action against the culprits," he said.

On February 11, the proctor of the university had met senior police officials and requested them to deploy police personnel round-the-clock at the gates of all colleges, he said.

The proctor again had a meeting on February 12 at 3 pm with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) along with the Dean, Students Welfare, and Internal Complaints Committee of the university to deliberate upon the immediate measures to be taken in the matter, he said.

"The university is constantly on the vigil and is taking all adequate measures to boost confidence amongst the students and to maintain sanctity of safe academic campuses," he said.

On January 15, the university had constituted a committee on Women Safety and Security.

(With inputs from PTI)

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