Continuing their protest against inaction over the suicide of a female Dalit student, students of Delhi University on Monday alleged that due to the lack of functional legally mandated institutional support mechanism, women students are being forced to take the extreme step.
The students said that the lack of a support mechanism for students – who are undergoing distress, prejudice or pressure from peers or other people in the University – has been brought to light from the police inaction over the victim's suicide, who was a student of the varsity's School of Open Learning (SOL).
Personnel at Model Town police station in North West Delhi reportedly extended no help to her when she approached them with her complaint.
"Would this have happened if there was a functioning ICC (internal complaints committee) for SOL students, if the woman student knew that she was not alone in her fight, that the university would support her in filing a complaint with the police," students said.
According to the students, the victim – who died on April 8 – had clearly stated in her suicide note that the police were equally responsible for her death.
Highlighting the issue, students further alleged that the police had refused to acknowledge the nature of the caste-based gender violence the victim faced, as her brother informed the students that when the girl first approached police to file a criminal complaint against her former boyfriend, the police suggested that she go for a samjhota (settlement) instead.
The varsity's students took a stand against the issue of caste and gender-based violence faced by the women students and also brought to light the incident of a Hindi honours student of Laxmi Bai College who was brutally murdered by her boyfriend and his family last year.
Meanwhile, the protesting students demanded immediate action against the police personnel who refused to file an FIR. They further demanded formation of a committee against sexual harassment in SOL and establishment and publicity of an effective Equal Opportunity Cells in SOL and all DU colleges to address instances of caste-based harassment and violence.