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Horrors Of Last Night At Jadavpur University: “My Friends Were Brutally Assaulted, Their Clothes Torn”

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By Anwesha Dhar:

“So what happened on the 17th?”

If you are a student of Jadavpur University, you have been asked this question a number of times, by family, friends from other colleges, relatives, and media. If you are a student of Jadavpur University, you must feel the same tinge of pain, of anger, and of extreme resentment on hearing this question as I do.

By now, it is more or less known that a girl was molested on the night of 28th August by 10 hostel students and her boyfriend was beaten up. It is known that due to inaction on the university’s part to launch a proper investigation of the case, the students were unhappy. It is known that two women, who refused to reveal their identity at that time, made an ‘unofficial’ visit to the girl’s house and bombarded her with questions like, “Were you drunk?” and “What kind of clothes were you wearing?” It is known that the students started actively protesting, being vocal about their demands of reconstituting cell because their fellow student was traumatised. Her personal space had been repeatedly violated. The students were fighting against gender violence.

jadavpur1

“What was the nature of these protests? Surely, the students were rowdy! Arre Jadobpur toh. Chele meyera sharakkhon eishob-e politics kore! (Arre, its Jadavpur! The students keep doing all this politics.)”

Politics? If it is ‘politics’ to fight for the right of your fellow student, to help her gain justice and some sense of security, then yes, it is politics and I am happy that “Jadobpur-er chele meye-ra politics kore”. And how did they go about it, executing their ‘politics’? By playing music, by staging skits, by airing documentaries. By not going home and choosing to be sleep-deprived, starved, exhausted, sitting outside the administrative building ‘Aurobinda Bhavan’, hoping that their Vice Chancellor would at least cast a glance at them. He didn’t. Every evening, he would quietly walk out of the building, blatantly ignoring his own students. He said, “Talking to the students goes against my dignity.” Funnily, telling blatant lies to the media doesn’t. And luckily for us, we realised this early. The students started recording everything, their demonstrations, meetings, and their skits. If they had it on tape, their protest won’t be misbranded as being something it was not. Till this stage, the demand was a reconstitution of the inquiry committee as we had got enough proof of the investigation being marred by biases and prejudices. The demand was simply a public statement from the VC as to why the investigation was not taking place.

So what happened on the 17th?

The executive council had a meeting, whereby it was declared that the university was going to issue ‘strong disciplinary rules’, like checking ID cards. So was the VC trying to say that checking ID cards prevents molestation or that if a student is not disciplined enough, he/she deserves to be molested? Speaking strictly in context of this case, it is important to remember that the victim and the 10 students were all from JU; it could NOT have been prevented by checking IDs. So what was his point anyway? When asked about the 28th issue, he clearly said that there would be absolutely no discussion.

At this stage, the students decided that they’d have to make the VC listen to them. They had been there from more than 100+ hours and they couldn’t bear to be ignored anymore. So they took a step that they knew would be risky. They went for a ‘gherao’. They formed a human chain and announced that the VC would have to leave over their bodies that night. They resolved on being completely non-violent, and anyway, why would they even think about it?

The VC informed the police. The police came with lathis and along with them came the RAF with water gallons and tear gas, and some unidentified men in civilian clothes. Going by VC’s little but somewhat public liaison with TMC- of course they were TMC goons. At around 10, the police assured the students that they won’t touch them. We, who were at home, were a little relieved. We were receiving constant social media updates from our friends who were present there.

Around 2, everything changed. Two vans full of policemen came to the university. Lathi charge ensued; the goons started literally picking up the students and flinging them in the air. They kicked them, clawed their faces, slapped them, stood on them. Even though one or two female policemen were present, the girls were beaten up by the male cadres. They were kicked, their clothes torn, their breasts brutally stomped on. In a fight against gender violence, many girls that night were molested. The VC was escorted out by the goons and driven to his house where he spent a peaceful night. The students, however, were in for more brutality. At this stage, as a video footage clearly records, the lights were switched off. What took place after that makes my skin crawl. Molestations continued. They were punched; flower pots were thrown at them; they were dragged. Many students lost consciousness. 37 students were arrested, including a girl. Our laws state that a girl cannot be arrested late at night if there are no female policemen present in the van. And there weren’t. They were taken to Lalbazaar, the police headquarters. They were refused water. They were abused all the way. The police later told the media, “The students are like our sons and daughters. We could not have harmed them.” The video footage clearly states otherwise.

What happened after that?

I was at home. It was 2:00am and I was preparing to go to sleep. Then the news about lathi-charge came in. We knew something was terribly wrong. The next we heard, our friends were arrested. My own classmates were arrested. I couldn’t sleep all night; neither could the other students of JU. Threads were created, medical supplies arranged. At 6.30am I left home and went straight to KPC hospital to visit the students who were admitted. The Telegraph posted today that only 3 students were arrested and nothing really was wrong with them. I myself went there and talked to the students admitted. The staff said discharging them would be risky. Later that day, I rushed 5 more people to hospital after they were released from Lalbazaar. The Telegraph also reported that the police admitted to beating some of the students after “they blew smoke on their faces.” This made me laugh. Why would anyone smoke and think about blowing smoke on people’s faces while they were being flung by goons and their friends being beaten bloody as well? A news channel under the ABP group, ABP Ananda, aired the footage all night and invited professors, student, and speakers who presented a different story- the story I just wrote. Even after that, a newspaper chooses to write that only 3 students were arrested? I don’t quite know how to react.

At 4:00pm a rally was held. It had thousands of students and dignitaries participating. Students who were not a part of JU too chose to participate in large numbers. No one could ignore what had happened the night before. How could I myself forget the footage? The sight of seeing my own classmates coming back from Laalbazaar, limping, with swollen eyes, bruises, bandages? The voice of some of my female friends traumatised from the molestation? The status updates narrating the horror stories? I couldn’t forget. I can’t. I won’t. JU won’t.

Students of JU have started an “All Class Boycott” starting today, which is to continue till the VC resigns.

Today I write not as a correspondent of YKA but a student. Not just of JU, but a student in general. This is a plea against the atrocities committed on students by the state. Now you know what happened on the 17th. Question is- will you do something about it?

Also Read: Molested At The Protest Against Molestation: How A Revolution Is Brewing In Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University Molestation Case: Students Up In Protest Against Administrative Inaction

You must be to comment.
  1. Damien Hanet

    So what is next?

    Police forces on campus is the failure of a university. Universities are intellectual hubs where people debate/exchange/prove, if the debate is avoided by some parties then peaceful, smart action take place to force the debate. But violence is never permitted at a university because it is the failure of intellectual debate, it is the failure of thinking.

    Do NOT let go. You must fight for your rights and the rights of the others.

    Stay strong!

  2. Sushama

    file a petition and we are all ready to sign this.. the VC shall not only resign but strict action should be taken against him. Let it set an example.

  3. Sonali Shrivastava

    As being a VC of a reputed University, One is not at all supposed to react in this manner at such a heinous act in his University’s premises. He must have tried to do the proper investigation in this matter as it is a question of a girl’s life and her future and of other female students also come within the box on the question of security within the University’s premises. Do not afraid and lose hope JU’s students. I as being a student of Law and so many like me are with you. We will try our best to give you justice. Go ahead. I am with you…we are with you… (y)

  4. Raviteja Bhavirisetty

    How much ever the Police are sincere in their duty, I lost respect on them today. They should not have allowed goons and take their side. I am sorry but JU is no more a university worth attending.

    So much is happening in the heart of Kolkata and why is the state government silent about it? Please raise the questions and we will support them.

  5. SKDey-JU

    The current JU VC is a political appointee and is more concerned about saving his own a*s and licking others’ to rise in the hierarchy. Yesterday while speaking to the reporter of a TV channel, he was so self-conscious of the blatant lies that he was uttering about there being no police atrocity in the JU campus, he could not look straight into the camera and was shifty-eyed all along looking here and there.

  6. Ujjwal Anand

    Where the fuck is Namo now? and his promises of acche din?

    1. Rohit Singh

      He is being thwarted by your very own TMC’s Mamata Banerjee. What can the central govt do if the state govt is so despicable ? Have some sense before spouting bs.

  7. Suprateem Banerjee

    I’m a student of class 12 and I find this horrific. Such an incident is not to be taken casually, and people with powers need to understand this, we need to make them understand that. I find this incident horrific. This needs to change!

  8. Babar

    My intention is not to offend anyone but I must ask, why is there not a single article on this blog about the hundreds of thousands of false cases of rape, dowry, molestation, domestic violence and assault across the country which have devastated the lives of innocent Indian men? There are tens of thousands of cases every year where boys and girls have premarital sex, and when the girls parents find out, girls accused boys of rape and ruin them entirely to save themselves from a minor error, without a care in the world about the boys life, reputation, career, family, and future. This does not even include the fake cases of rape to gain attention and to settle personal agenda, not to mention the countless cases where women blackmail men with threats of fabricated allegations of rape, molestation, and dowry

    1. Avinash

      Please give sources for your statistics – Hundreds of thousands/tens of thousands, etc … I’m not asking for one article that says this happened in one place. Please give sources citing these huge number of false cases. Maybe then, we can take you seriously. On the contrary there is actual proof for the number of actual rape/molestation, etc –
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_India#Rape_statistics – In this wiki, there are many links to statistics to actual cases.

    2. Sameera

      I believe any kind of crime doesn’t legitimize the existence of any other kind of crime. Focus on the blunder committed by the VC and Bengal Police force as well as the goons. This right here is not a topic over which some other debate can be or should be fueled. I can’t fathom what you are proposing? that this genuine case should be neglected because many more fake cases are ruining the lives of men?

    3. Babar

      @Sameera: I did not say anything about ‘legitimizing.’ Of course, rape is plain wrong. But among the ocean of articles on rape, I would expect at least a few highlighting heinous crimes by women who destroy the lives of men.

      @Avinash: 98% of dowry cases and 75% of rape cases are fake – you do the math.

      http://youtu.be/SM-YUFidNP4

      Also read:

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Tougher-rape-law-leading-to-increase-in-false-cases/articleshow/30807940.cms

      http://ibnlive.in.com/news/girls-caught-with-lovers-file-rape-case-after-being-caught-court/429048-3-244.html

    4. Prakash

      JU’s incident well deserves the attention that it is getting. We should all stand up for the students and the plight of the girl who got molested. But SADLY, we fail to stand for the “victims” who are victimized because of the “too much attention” and one-sided syndrome of these sensitive cases where we always assume that men are the perpetrators and women are the victims. It is quite illogical to assume that given the complete power to one sections of people, without restrictions or discipline, will invite a major part who will try to misuse them. We are humans after all and no human is totally unflawed. And the statistics that Avinash asked for is itself challenging, as the entire society tends to ignore these issues. Almost 99% men will not speak up if they are “groped” in public. They will be even appreciated to be manly if they reveal that they “enjoyed” them.

    5. Rahul

      Well just on your reply on the % of fake cases…even though they are there, you should also look at another very important point on such cases which is very openly kept in the public too. More than 90% of the fake rape cases (in India) I am sticking to our context, have been where the sex was consensual but on the promise of marriage and it was a relationship turned disaster on the fact that the man backed out. Well this has come from prosecutors who have managed to get acquittal for men …so the one’s who got saved. Well I really think for those who actually suffer but such men only tilt the balance of justice on bad side.

    6. Rahul

      Well apparently this is not the place and time to ask such a question? Your question is right no doubt. But what is required is a conscious discussion on the topic which happen elsewhere. The point here is the trauma one had to bear and then subsequently the students at large. When someone is bringing the facts to you, you don’t go asking if this is the time to see things from other side. Hope it makes sense. But any other day this is also a serious point to discuss.

  9. Tapan kumar Samajdar

    As a teacher I would like to say ,what happened in JU that is not the reflection of teacher- student relationship that resembles very much police vs criminal action. It is the failure of a teacher who use batton to cultivate sellf consciousness among his students.

  10. amarjeet

    Mamta Banerjee CM should feel ashamed of unabated lawlessness in campus and community in her regime being a lady CM after long span of CPM. Only positive was expected from her, by her and during her regime. She fails to protect herself.
    Student unrest is a result of frustration with authorities who handle them and their teachers with disrespect. Teaching standards are low because teaching staff is insulted, humiliated worse than daily labor. Daily labor gets all facilities including medical, PF and Gratuity in Indian laws from 1st day of service. While teaching staff get neither regularized for years after adhoc jobs nor given any facility. This disrespect creates bad impression on learning students and teacher loose respect, command on student in their behavior and routine conduct on campus. World standard of education is going up with new technology but Indian standard is on downward trend. Students being in this predicament get frustrated and insecure resulting in chaotic behavior. It is time all Universities upgrade teaching standards, regularize adhoc staff of teaching with 3 years’ service and give all facilities given to labor class under labor Acts. Bad behavior of students and unruly turmoil on campus is a result of poor, cheap approach and unrealistic approach to student community. Police is not needed to handle students if teaching staff is respected, upheld and not mal treated in their profession and their honorable image maintained. Before standard behavior, teaching staff must be respected and their services regarded as national inputs. Good talents for teaching will come with good offers, regulations and standard of education

  11. ayappan

    Police are of no use, they listen to political leaders. U students instead of going to VC for complain, you people should know who was the guy molested the girl on Aug 28 2014. Go and teach him a lesson so that here after any person should terrified before molesting anyone.

  12. Sayantan Ghosh

    This government tries to stop any crime with the help of money.Students should not stop their protest against such a crime they should not put their heads down infront of government’s..any type of offer

  13. thathoodnigga

    shut da fuk up. fukin students got too much free time. go do something better with ur life than making a ruckus at ur college after midnight. if i was a member of that police force i would’ve beaten u monkeys senseless. wtf was that dumb hoe doing out at that time when she got molested? if she was home like a good girl then she wouldn’t have gotten molested. now go cry u dumb fucks.

    1. Shreya

      Ah what a delight it is to see a complete fucking moron go tippity tap on the keyboard. Dear, thehoodnigga it’s pretty evident from the douchey name you’ve chosen to represent your oh well useless existence in the virtual world. You pretty much seem like one of the cheap men who wait by a college gate to mack on chicks. It’s idiots such as yourself that actually make people define the word equality every time we have to speak about these incidents. Actually it’s not even that it’s umm how do I put it in simpler terms for, I would say animals but let’s just all agree they’re still better off than you. So yes, not raping, molesting, groping, passing lewd comments these are basic etiquettes or for fucks sake common sense. Don’t blame a girl if your parents forgot to teach you that while they were busy pampering your shitty ‘hoodnigga’ ass and telling you how you’re such a rockstar. Stop being such a sorry excuse for a human and actually stand for something rather than hiding behind a screen and calling out people who do. I pity the people who actually know you or encourage you because that manhood you seem to be proud of is nothing but shit. I hope you do get some sense in that empty space. Do feel free to go cry to your mommy ‘you dumb fuck’.

      P.S. Do learn how to spell like a normal person.

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