Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday condemned the lathicharge and use of teargas shells on agitated students by police on Sunday.
At a protest meet at the JNU campus on Monday, students said that such incidents of violence and misbehaviour with women had been happening regularly but neither the Delhi Police nor the JNU administration had done anything to curb them.
Vibha, a PhD student, recalled the events. "I was walking with my friend near the Sabarmati hostel T-point around 3 pm when four guys in a drunken state in a Hyundai Accent car stopped in front of us."
Vibha said the men started passing lewd comments and gestured indecently. "I complained to the guard, who was threatened by them," she said.
"Such incidents happened in the past too but the JNU administration never tried to tighten security measures," said Sandeep Singh, president, Jawaharlal Nehru University Student's Union (JNUSU).
"How else can you explain the absence of the chief security officer when the students of the campus were being indiscriminately lathicharged by the police?" Singh asked.
Singh alleged if they complained to the police, most of the time they did not register any cases. And even if they did, they never followed it up.
"One needs to ask why were such a huge number of police personnel deployed. Was it because these people have influential 'connections'?" he added.
The students said that it was wrongly reported in the media that they started pelting stones first.
"Our Associate Dean Sachidanand Sinha was the only faculty member who intervened and tried to pacify the agitating students and convinced them to let the four guys go. But as soon as the gate was opened, the police started lathicharging indiscriminately," said Divya, a student.
"I was pulled by two policemen from two sides and was hurt. There was only one policewomen," she said.
Delhi Police officials said they opened force on the protesting students when they tried to set the police jeep on fire.
"For seven hours, we did not do anything but when some students tried to set on fire police jeep, we used force. We did it under extreme pressure," said HGS Dhaliwal, DCP (south).
In the melee on Sunday night, 33 policemen were injured and seven students were hurt. Police said they videographed the entire incident and would take the help of the recordings to pinpoint the students who instigated the violence.