Journo’s molestation on PU campus: Panel formed to probe security lapses

University vice-chancellor Raj Kumar informed the senators on Saturday that the panel will meet on December 17
Updated on Dec 15, 2019 12:54 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByDar Ovais, Chandigarh

Panjab University has formed a committee to look into the security lapses that led to a woman journalist’s molestation at the Botanical Garden on December 9.

University vice-chancellor Raj Kumar informed the senators on Saturday that the panel will meet on December 17.

The V-C said during the 30-minute deliberations over the incident at the senate meeting on Friday, the senators demanded immediate steps towards increasing women safety on the campus.

After the molestation incident, the botany department, on the directions of the V-C, had restricted the timings of the Botanical Garden from 9am to 5.30pm.

Senator Paramjeet Singh said, “Changing the timings is no solution. We need to know why it happened and what has the university done so far in this regard.”

“We need a safety audit at the university rather than knee-jerk reactions when such incidents happen. A dedicated budget should be allotted for the increase of safety measures at the varsity,” said Pam Rajput, another senator.

The dearth of security personnel on the campus was also discussed at the senate meeting, where senators demanded swift recruitment of more security personnel.

Senator Rabindernath Sharma said the university should recruit regular security personnel instead of outsourcing the jobs.

Recommendations made by the Panjab University Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) were also taken up at the meet.

Senator Ameer Sulatana, a member of PUCASH, said, “The committee had made numerous recommendations on safety measures at the campus after a survey, but those have not been implemented. Among these was a 24/7 helpline for students.”

Besides security measures, senators were also in favour of holding workshops on gender sensitisation. Besides workshops, they also suggested self-defence classes for female students.

Repair fencing wires: SSP writes letter to PU, PEC

In the wake of two molestation cases at Panjab University (PU) and Punjab Engineering College (PEC) on Monday morning, UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nilambari Jagadale has written a letter to the two institutes to repair the fencing wires atop their boundary walls.

The letter stated, “During the visit of crime spots by deputy superintendent of police (central) and station house officer, Sector 11, it was observed that fencing wires are found broken/damaged at some places of boundary walls adjoining to the road leading to Dhanas and Nayagaon village, respectively. The same needs to be replaced/ repaired to avoid such incidents in future.”

A 45-year-old journalist was molested at PU’s botanical garden around 7.30am on Monday, and hours after this incident, a 19-year-old girl was molested outside PEC boundary wall in Sector 12, not far from the PU campus. Nearly a week later, police have failed to make any headway in both the cases

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Sunday, November 28, 2021