‘Stood in gangs’: Protests after mass assault of women by ‘thousands’ of men

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Protests have ensued following a mass assault at a women’s college where “thousands” of men allegedly broke on to the campus where they reportedly sexually assaulted and molested students.

The University of Delhi’s Gargi College principal has “unequivocally” condemned the alleged attack, which happened on February 6, during Reverie, an annual festival at the college.

Women at the college alleged they were “manhandled, molested and sexually assaulted” by “drunk men” who forced their way onto the campus, Indian newspaper The Free Press Journal reported.

“Men stood in gangs and ogled at women, groped them, tried to feel them up, pushed them, and touched them throughout the concert,” a statement issued by the General Body of Student said, according to CNN.

Female students allege hoards of men broke into a college campus and assaulted students during an annual festival. Source: Gargi College

“People formed human chains to move from one area to another. After the concert was over, the men followed women, catcalled them, and forced them to reveal their names and Instagram IDs.”

One woman told The Free Press Journal she was molested three times when she was separated from her friends, later she witnessed a man in his 30s masturbating.

“I could see women, first-year students lying unconscious, unattended on the field. It was a medical emergency as well,” another witness told local news outlet NDTV.

The same student alleges administration “did nothing to control it” after the men broke into the college and Indian police force’s Rapid Action Force “did absolutely nothing”, despite being on campus at the time.

The statement issued by the principal of Gargi College, Promila Kumar, said the institution will set up a “high-level fact finding committee”, so witnesses or individuals with information can come forward and information can be passed on to police.

“We are fully committed to safety and security of our students,” the statement says.

“The institution will file a report of complaints to the police at the earliest so perpetrators can be brought to justice. We will set up a security protocol to ensure such incidents never take place again.”

On Monday, protesters came together outside the school to protest, some calling for the principal to resign and the student union calling for a mass strike until a meeting is held with the principal and teachers responsible for their safety, according to CNN.

“The hooliganism and vulgarity that happened at Gargi College is unbearable. After all this, when the college administration said that ‘what was the need of the students to come to the fest’, then all the limits are exceeded,” Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal tweeted.

“In the fight against this poor mentality, we are standing with the students of Gargi College.”

On social media, people have criticised the assault and showed solidarity for the female students.

“What’s happening at Delhi’s #gargicollege is horrible,” one person tweeted.

“It used to be a safe place for us when we were students. That students can’t expect to be safe in their institute reflects poorly on society.”

Dehli police are investigating the alleged mass assault, according to the Times of India.

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