Three persons accused of the gang rape of a 19- year-old law student at Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, including main accused Amit Malik, have been arrested by Sonepat police. They were remanded by a local court in police custody for five days on Saturday.
Sonepat SP Arun Singh told HT that two police teams arrested the trio on late Friday night from Haridwar district of Uttar Pradesh for the crime, which occurred on Wednesday.
University's girl students have been protesting for the last two days to demand the arrest of the accused, including Malik who was incharge of the university mess.
Apart from Malik, other accused are Jaipal of Khanpur Kalan village and Bhupinder of Mundlana village. Another accused Vikas alias Vikky is still absconding.
On the other hand, even after the arrest of the accused and resignation of university's chief warden Sahib Kaur, around 500 girl students blocked the Sonepat-Gohana road throughout Saturday and demanded her arrest as well as immediate removal of varsity vice chancellor Pankaj Mittal.
The protesting students claimed that when they were going to meet the victim in her hostel room in Saturday morning, they were manhandled by women constables stationed in the presence of the vice chancellor and other university officials.
Girls alleged that university authorities and the district administration were pressuring the victim and her family to change their statement. Moreover, they accused varsity authorities of threatening them with dire consequences if they did not end their agitation.
The protesters also questioned the appointment of Sahib Kaur as chief warden and alleged that she was ineligible for the post. Girls alleged complicity between certain officials, including chief warden and security guards, with main accused Amit, who even entered the campus after the rape and threatened the victim not to reveal the incident to anyone.
Interestingly, while a section of girl students maintained that their two demands had already been met with the arrest of the accused and resignation of Sahib Kaur, another group allegedly under the influence of INLD's students' wing INSO demanded the removal of VC Pankaj Mittal and arrest of Sahib Kaur.
On Saturday, INLD general secretary Ajay Chautala reached the protest spot and expressed sympathy with the agitating girls. He demanded a CBI probe into the crime.
Deputy commissioner Pankaj Aggarwal said that they had asked the agitating girls to send their representatives for talks so as to reach a solution, but they had refused.
He said that the administration had also accepted their genuine demands regarding transport, beefing up security outside university etc.
When asked about police failure in making independent inquiry into alleged suicide cases in the university, SP Arun Singh maintained that he had joined recently and assured that he would look into these cases.
An INSO leader assisted by few outsider women allegedly manhandled a senior journalist of Times of India, Deepender Deswal, on Saturday. The latter was seeking the version of INSO leader Kunal Gehlawat about their demands in the ongoing students' agitation.
When he reportedly asked Gehlawat about political parties trying to politicise the issue, the INSO leader and few women from outside the university allegedly started behaving rudely and even manhandled Deswal.
Kunal also allegedly provoked girl students to manhandle the journalist and raised slogans against the media, alleging that media was playing in the hands of authorities. When HT reporter tried to intervene, girl students and the INSO leader misbehaved with him as well.
Later, the accused sought apology for the incident and maintained that they had failed to recognise the journalist and it was only a case of mistaken identity.
Meanwhile, Rohtak Media Club condemned the manhandling of the journalists outside the university gate by the INSO leader and supporters and demanded the INLD take action against the accused INSO leader Kunal. Club president Davinder Sharma and general secretary OP Vashishtha warned of a state-wide agitation if the INLD failed to take action against the INSO leader.