Gargi College sexual molestation: Delhi HC seeks Centre, CBI response on court-monitored probe

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The alleged incident took place on the third day of Reverie, the annual festival at the women’s college

The Delhi High Court Monday sought a response from the Centre and the CBI on a plea seeking a court-monitored probe into the alleged molestation of students during a cultural festival at Delhi University's all-women Gargi College.

Students have alleged that outsiders forcibly entered the campus and allegedly groped them during the festival. The alleged incident took place on the third day of Reverie, the annual festival at the women’s college. Ten people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Centre and Central Bureau of Investigation on a plea filed by advocate M L Sharma. The plea was filed after the Supreme Court, last week, refused to entertain the petition and directed the petitioner, a lawyer, to move the Delhi High Court. The petition, by advocate M L Sharma, has sought preservation of all video recordings and CCTV camera footage of the college campus.

Meanwhile, the college authorities said it had taken various steps to address “anxieties and concerns” of students and to “mitigate” their trauma”. “The students have been encouraged to express their concerns and asked to (pose) questions fearlessly. Two face-to-face interactive sessions have been held, in which the principal and teachers held an open dialogue with the student body and answered all their questions,” said the college in a statement.

An FIR was filed by college authorities after the students staged a protest at the campus gate last week. Sundaram Thakur, president of the students’ union, said the incident took place between 4 and 5 pm on February 6. She said entry to the event for men was restricted. “A huge crowd gathered at the gate that evening. They began pushing in such a way the gate broke… Over 200 outsiders broke into the college without passes. A lot of students are saying different things about what happened; it took some time to bring the situation under control,” she said.