Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has restricted entry of outside vehicles on campus from 10pm to 6am, according to a circular released on Wednesday. The decision was taken in light of the attempted abduction and molestation of two women students late on Tuesday night by four men.
The university has also mandated all residents to produce identity cards and identify their guest at the gate in person or through phone calls to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Earlier, outsiders known to university residents could enter the campus by sharing their name at the gate, along with the name of the person they were meeting. Four wheelers were given tokens which they had to return at the time of exit.
However, students organisations have alleged that security was not strict enough and these rules were often overlooked.
Late on Tuesday night, four men entered the JNU campus in a car, and tried to abduct two women students, before molesting them. Around an hour later, the four men assaulted a male students, police officers aware of the matter said.
Police have registered two separate first information reports (FIRs) in connection with the incidents, and one man, identified by his first name Abhishek, has been arrested, the officers said.
The incident has raised concern over students’ safety in the campus. In a statement issued after the incident, the university said that they are taking all steps necessary to ensure “strictest punishment to perpetrators of the crime” and to make the campus safer for women.
JNU on Wednesday condemned the incident and said that various steps were being taken up to improve the security on campus. “JNU administration has taken serious note of the incidents and a police complaint has been lodged. We have been coordinating with the police. The administration has recommended strictest punishment to perpetrators of the crime,” the university said in a statement.
However, Tuesday’s incident is just the latest in a long list of security lapses at the university campus, with the last occurring in January 2022, when a PhD student was allegedly molested late at night inside the campus by motocycle rider.
Anagha Pradeep of JNUSU said, “The Internal Complaints Committee and the administration are simply not equipped to deal with situations like these.The culprits in the latest case need to be arrested immediately because they used to frequent the JNU campus.”
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also demanded that these security lapses be fixed. “There have been many problematic incidents in the last few months, including vehicles getting stolen. We have been trying to raise these issues for months now,” said Ambuj Mishra, ABVP state media convener.
Meanwhile, JNUSU and ABVP declared separate protest marches, demanding action in the alleged security lapses.