Days after the shocking incident of molestation and intimidation was reported from the Visva Bharati University, another case of molestation of a second year History (Hons) student of the elite Jadavpur University (JU) has sent shock rippling across Bengal. Media reports suggest that the girl was forcefully taken to the boys hostel by a group of 10 male students. She was molested, beaten up and was locked down according to the complaint lodged in the local police station. But what has shocked most is the complete apathy of the university when the matter was brought to their notice.
The heinous incident took place on August 28 evening during a “fest” organised by the university. According to the girl, a male engineering student, along with his accomplices, forcefully took her to the boys hostel and molested her. They even took away her phone. The girl somehow managed to break free and escape. Some of the boys reportedly belong to the engineering stream, while others are humanities students.
On Monday, the girl and her father brought the matter to the cognizance of the university authorities. According to victim's father, he was asked by the Vice Chancellor to come after couple of days. They also didn't form a committee to investigate the matter instantly and waited for instructions from Education Minister. Seeing lack of response, the girl lodged a formal complaint to the police on Tuesday. The education minister of West Bengal has now ordered a prompt investigation into the matter to bring alleged perpetrators to book. Police have started a probe under sections 354 (criminal assault on a woman to outrage her modesty) and 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the accused. No arrests have been made so far.
University authorities have refused to say anything to media organisations so far. Their apparent inaction in the beginning has already raised many questions. Since the entire incident took place within the campus premises, the police are looking closely at the probe being carried out by JU authorities. There have been earlier reports about the presence of outsiders and long passed out students on the JU campus. Authorities wanted to install CCTV cameras inside the campus a few years ago, a move that was later abandoned due to protests from some quarters. This incident again brings to light the safety - or lack of it - in Jadavpur University, famous for its liberal ethos.