Every day, students of Jesus and Mary College and Maitreyi College in Chanakyapuri, especially girls, dread going to classes.
Not because they dislike studies or detest attending lectures but because they are being stalked everyday. Literally.
Their main worry: the kilometre-long stretch between their colleges and the closest bus stop, which is like a shortcut through hell. A hell they can’t avoid.
Many students miss morning classes so that they have company when they take that stretch — the only access point from Ring Road to the colleges.
Students often complain of being subjected to “catcalls” and “vulgar gestures” when they walk to their college on San Martin Marg, particularly in the morning hours.
The road is desolate most of the time.
“The other day, I was walking towards my college when a man with a handkerchief on his face started stalking me. He started making vulgar gestures and I had to run to save myself. I broke my sandals also,” said Kanak Kapoor (name changed), a first-year student of Jesus and Mary College.
Students say they miss classes if they do not get someone to accompany them on the road.
“I never walk on that stretch alone. Many times, I have missed my classes if I do not have any friend to accompany me. I stay in a hostel and make sure that we use that road in a group,” said Shreya Sinha, a student of Maitreyi College.
Three months ago, two school students of Carmel Convent School at Malcha Marg were cornered, slashed with a blade and robbed minutes after they had stepped out from their school. Police claimed some smack addict was behind the crime but failed to make arrests.
“The road has no direct bus connectivity and it is out of my budget to hire an autorickhsaw every day, particularly when the fares have doubled,” said Sinha, a native of Jamshedpur.
The police said that they had stationed police control room (PCR) vans near the two colleges and their team regularly patrol the area.
“There is no question of neglecting the area. We have got policemen patrolling the area quire regularly. Students can complain and their identities would be kept anonymous,” said Shankar Dash, additional commissioner of police (New Delhi).