Gargi’s violence must not go unpunished – editorials
The terrible incident of sexual abuse at Gargi College in Delhi is an absolute criminal act, which deserves heavy punishment. While 12 students from other universities, who had apparently entered Gargi, were arrested, several questions remain unanswered. Why is it that strangers were not properly examined before they were allowed to enter university? How is it that the police, posted outside? He did nothing, even when the students were being disturbed? Why, apart from the 12, the other criminals have not been arrested, even though several CCTV cameras captured images of the incident?
Universities are meant to be safe spaces for women, in fact for all students, but increasingly, foreigners can access them with impunity. In several universities, innocent students have been attacked, and law enforcement personnel have been passive bystanders or active aggressors. Women face an additional danger. They face an uphill task negotiating public spaces to reach universities, but if they cannot be guaranteed their security once inside their facilities, some of them may choose to leave their studies. At a time when female participation in the workforce is declining, women should be encouraged to pursue higher education, which allows them to negotiate jobs. The Interior Ministry, which controls the Delhi Police, must act against the police personnel who were at their side, while the young women were being harassed. Security must also be intensified in women’s universities, especially during events that attract large crowds.