A day after the country observed the third anniversary of Nirbhaya tragedy, 400-odd girl students of Calicut University in north Kerala approached the Kerala high court with a plea to ensure their safety on the campus.
Signed by 444 students, the mass petition said though they repeatedly brought instances of harassment by male students and outsiders to the notice of the concerned authorities, they failed to redress their grievances.
They said they are often subjected to acts of harassment, obscene gesticulations, physical intimidation and public teasing and their numerous complaints to varsity authorities and police failed to evoke desired results.
“It is a most regretful fact that on a campus where more than 80% of the students are women, the security and safety of women are given little importance by the varsity authorities,” said the petition.
“Due to these acts of harassment by both students of certain departments/centres and by outsiders, we are constantly under threat,” the petition signed first by Anupama D S, an M Phil scholar, said. (HT possesses a copy of the petition sent to acting chief justice Ashok Bhushan). They also forwarded a copy of the petition to the chancellor Governor justice P Sathasivam.
Talking to the Hindustan Times one of the signatories said that recently seven girls had given a written complaint to the registrar after two male student of the physical education department threw live crackers on them. Instead of taking action against them authorities summoned the complainants and harassed them, she said.
When contacted registrar Dr TA Abdul Majeed said the varsity has taken action on all complaints received by it. “I don’t know how such a mass complaint came up all of a sudden. Some ragging cases were reported earlier and they were forwarded to the women panel, And in some cases police complaints were also filed,” he said.