Students Call Off Protest Against Rape After University Concedes Demands
SHANTINIKETAN: The protest of Visva Bharti University students over the rape of a Sikkimese girl ended after the university conceded most of their demands.
The university has agreed to admit the student, and wave off her tuition fee and other expenses. The authorities also agreed to constitute a separate cell for the northeastern students.
The protesting students in a letter dated Oct 6 have also sought an apology from the varsity over revealing the identity of the victim in an official release. “We are horrified to learn that the name of the victim has been officially released which is a crime under the 228A Indian Penal Code (IPC). We demand an official apology on the part of the Visva Bharati authority for such carelessness,” one of the protesting students Santanu Das told The Citizen.
On August 2014, a student of Visva-Bharati University hailing from Sikkim was allegedly gang-raped by three youths- all belonging to the same university. After duping the girl on the pretext of finding accommodation, the three allegedly raped her.
Reportedly, a video was used to blackmail her.
The protesting students have strongly objected to the university’s decision to re-admit the three accused, instead of expelling them and helping the police take action against them.
“This is unacceptable and in no way the three accused students qualify to be in this university. The authorities will have to decide about it and we are going to pursue this till the end” Das added.
The students, who are waiting for the reply by the authorities, will also have a meeting with the Pro Vice- Chancellor of the university on Oct 10th.
Meanwhile, the Director of Sriniketan, Suboj Koli Sen said, “ We have considered almost all the demands. We are with the victim and regret that such a thing has happened in the university. We will ensure all possible help to make her feel better and safe”.
The authorities have met the father of the girl on Thursday in a daylong meeting to work out a plan to make the girl feel safe in the campus. The authorities have also heard all the apprehensions of the father and assured proper care and attention.