Gargi Students Protest, Principal Finally Condemns Incident But What Next?
Gargi college reverberated with slogans of “Naari Shakti Zindabad”, “Chatra Ekta Zindabad” and “Halla Bol” just before the principal was to arrive and meet students. Women carried posters asking for the principal to resign. One of the posters asked, mentioning the principal’s name: “Promila, What is this behaviour?” Gargi college girls were molested and groped during a festival on Feb 6 owing to large scale security lapses and possibly administration apathy.
On Monday, Feb 10th, Gargi students boycotted classes to question the college administration and principal. SheThePeople has been leading the coverage on this story. Noticing the details that were reported, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), National Commission for Women also raise notices and sought investigation.
• DCW issues notice to Gargi administration and Delhi police.
• After a probe led by Delhi police, college authorities while official complaints with the police.
• Girls demand the resignation of those responsible if their demands aren’t met.
• Gargi Principal reports the establishment of a fact finding committee.
Happenings on premises
Four days after Gargi students reported cases of mass harassment, the college administration showed ‘categorical support’ after listening to demands and complaints. After the one on one discussions, the administration and principal of Gargi said they would intervene. After talks with the chairperson of DCW, Swati Maliwal it was proposed that a Fact Finding Committee shall be formulated independent of the college admins.
Maliwal said that “the event was horrific and shameful. She questioned why the administration did not call the police as soon as the security breach happened. Furthermore, Maliwal said that the DCW shall issue a notice to the college administration and police on account of lack of proactive action on the ground.”
Delhi Police has commenced a probe into the matter to investigate for harassment and sexual abuse in the light of the protests. The Delhi police received a complaint from the college authorities. Hauz Khas police station registered a case under the sections 452, 354, 509 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Principal Finally Stepped In
They also demanded a minimum security plan, press release, a written answer and a written apology. Students have reportedly given the administration two days to get back to the student body with demands including the entire budget spends of the festival Reverie (with emphasis of budget spent for security).
Dr Promila Kumar issued a statement to ANI and said “The committee will prepare, in a time-bound manner, a report of the complaints about submission to the Police, if complainants so desire. The students also have the option of approaching the ICC of Gargi College for confidential inquiry”
A student tweeted a thread of videos wherein the Principal responds to the student demands. The tweet mentioned that the principal issued an apology after contrasting claims amidst media.
principal's response to our demands. she clearly doesn't know half the facts. also, why are all her statements so contrasting to what she said to the media earlier?? it was our "personal choice" and now she's apologizing. #GargiCollege pic.twitter.com/wzJyplEkq3
— kar (@donpenguinii) February 10, 2020
The principal also shared a press release condemning the incident. The question to ask is – students protest, principal finally speaks up but what next? Are women safe in college? What is the administration doing to prevent this from happening again?
Vipashyana Dubey is an intern with SheThePeople