Several women students of the University protested outside the VC Office on Monday, demanding complete abolition of curfew timings, affordable hostels, construction of PwD hostels along with several other demands.
The students first assembled outside the Arts Faculty vocalizing their struggles, telling tales of discrimination and harassment they’ve faced in their hostels. “Why does a girl, above the age of 18, need a local guardian?“, the crowd roared as a student of Daulat Ram College spoke up.
The students then moved towards the VC office seeking answers for the Memorandum they submitted to the Vice-Chancellor on October 1st. However, the guards locked the gates of VC office and did not allow the girls to enter the complex. In the tussle of getting the gates opened, many girls were injured. In an attempt to get to the other side, some students climbed onto the gates.
Two hours later, the Proctor came to meet the protesting students. The girls were angered by her indifference towards their demands and the protest turned violent as police intervened.
The students then marched on to Chhatra Marg, shouting slogans like “Tum jitne taale daaloge, hum utne taale todenge.” The crowd, still in anger, stopped at the Miranda House Hostel and banged its gates, demanding the wardens to come out.
Subsequently, the students marched on to Mall Road and blocked it for 2 hours. When they locked hands and formed a human chain to stop the cars, the police came charging in upon them. “Three policewomen grabbed my arms and waist…they picked me up and threw me to the ground“, recalls a protesting woman.
On getting manhandled, the students were forced to retreat. They returned to the VC office lawns and began their all-night protests outside the gate. Several hours later, the Proctor came out to meet the girls again and assured them that their demands were being “forwarded to the concerned authorities”.
Dissatisfied and enraged by the response of the authorities, the students have decided to protest again on Wednesday.