The mood in Dharamsala, otherwise a sleepy hill town, was of anger and distress as the students of Government Post Graduate College escalated the protest over the alleged ‘gang rape’ of an undergraduate student which allegedly took place on the college campus here last Friday.
Led by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), students gheroad the college principal and demonstrated in front of the offices of deputy commissioner and superintendent of police (SP).
The incident, however, remains a mystery as the whereabouts and the identity of the victim is still unknown.
Arguments took place between the police and the demonstrators after the cops tired to stop them from entering the premises of SP office by closing the gate. The cops cautioned the protestors not to raise slogans and also stopped them from meeting the top police officials, which led to heated exchange of words between them.
Earlier, the protesters gheraod college principal RP Chopra, seeking his resignation and marched from the campus to the DC office and submitted a memorandum to the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Sudesh Mokta, demanding quick probe into the matter.
Protesting students later demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident to bring out the truth.
“We don’t even have a fraction of trust on the state police and there should be a CBI probe into the incident,” said Rajat Singh, ABVP in-charge for Kangra and Chamba district.
Meanwhile, Kangra SP Kapil Sharma, while addressing the media in the afternoon, said the district police had alerted all its agencies when the words started making round about the incident on Saturday.
“Based on media information that the victim was in serious condition and admitted to a local hospital, we checked all the nearby medical institutions, both government and private but couldn’t find the victim,” said Sharma.
Sharma said Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Shalini Agnihotri was supervising the on- going inquiry.
He told that the principal of the college gave a written application to the police seeking inquiry into the matter on May 18, stating that a newly-married girl had come to his office and complained that some youths had ‘molested’ her sister.
Sharma said the police urged the media to report the matter on basis of verified facts.
“Besides, we are also considering about taking action against persons who are spreading rumours and posting unconfirmed facts on social media sites and messaging apps,” said Sharma.
Meanwhile supervising officer Shalini Agnihotri said police were scrutinising the footages of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at various points in the college campus to identify the complainant girl who had reportedly come to the principal’s office to report the matter.
“Since, the data is very large, it will take some time to analyze the footages,” said Agnihotri. She appealed to the students and local people to come forward and report to the police if anyone knew anything about the incident.
“Anyone who wants to share information could contact us any time. We assure their security and secrecy,” she said.
On a query whether the incident actually happened or was just a rumour, the women cop said “It is too early to comment on it.”