Ill-advised veil over molestation

  • FREEHAND | Soni Sangwan, PTI, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 09, 2004 02:39 IST

It took three days for the Miranda House authorities to lodge a written complaint about the molestation of three of its students on a University Special bus to the university authorities. It took another six days for the Delhi University Proctor’s office to report the matter to the police. It’s another story that it took the police  only three days to arrest 16 wrestlers who had tormented the girls.

For over nine days, Delhi University kept quiet about the ride of terror inside the campus. The torment of the girls began from the bus-stop at the Vice Chancellor’s office and lasted till Maurice Nagar.

So why was the matter not reported to the police immediately? The concerns at Miranda House were about the safety of the girls ? If we report the matter to the police and the suspects are not caught, they would easily identify the girls and seek greater retribution. So, in an effort to ‘protect’ the girls, they informed the DU Proctor’s office about the incident. The intention throughout was to keep the matter within the university and try to identify the suspects at their own level, without involving the police.

What they would have done had they been able to identify the wrestlers is something no one is clear about. What is clear, however, is that a crime had taken place and no one was encouraged to report the matter to the agency that is supposed to handle criminal investigations.

Was the matter not reported to the police because of concerns for the safety of the victims, or was the concern more for the reputation of the university since the suspects may have been university students, or was it because they had no faith in the police? These are questions that no one is prepared to answer.


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