Holi is no excuse for obscene behaviour

Women hostellers demand ban on processions in DU

Holi is no excuse for obscene behaviour

Women hostellers of Delhi University have submitted a signature petition on Tuesday to the Proctor’s office and area police stations demanding to ban the procession taken out by postgraduate male students on the occasion of Holi.

“Drunk men create ruckus. Men hostellers have made a tradition to take out a rowdy Holi procession from their hostels to women’s hostels on Chhatra Marg — Miranda House Hostel, Post Graduate Women’s Hostel, Delhi University Women’s Association and Meghdoot Hostel,” said Maya John, a resident of PG women’s hostel.

Maya added that during the rally, some men shout obscenities. “The guys who take out the procession shout obscenities like Jubilee Hall ka naara hai, PG Women humaara hai. They also make inappropriate gestures to the extent of being sexist,” she said.

Women hostelers have earlier submitted a written application to the station house officer of Maurice Nagar police station in North Campus. “The rally  has been a source of discomfort and disrespect for the women students residing in hostels. Sadly, nothing convincing has been done by police and university administration to prevent it,” the application said.

“Some policemen have been seen actively conniving with such distasteful activities.” “Men hostellers come and stay outside each women’s hostels for nearly an hour,” added the application.

Women hostellers said throwing of balloons on the campus as well as neighbouring residential colonies and markets has become another nuisance.

“Young children as well as grown-up men have used the occasion of Holi to physically attack women by throwing balloons filled with dirty water,” said Maya.

“These attacks cause a lot of physical pain and intense humiliation as they are consciously thrown at certain parts of the woman’s body.” “What makes the matter worse is complaints to nearby policemen do not result in proper action,” she added.

Women hostellers have requested police to barricade and block Chhatra Marg on Holi — from university stadium to Jai Jawan Chowk.

“Police force should be instructed to respond immediately to complaints against throwing of balloons. FIRs to be filed against balloon-throwers if the victim demands,” said the letter.

“Resident welfare associations near the university should be instructed that they should firmly discourage harassment of women on Holi,” added the letter.

Though the Proctor assured to regulate the procession, but he said the power to ban the rally is in the hands of police.

A senior official said the university’s security has been beefed up.

“We are in touch with police and the Delhi Transport Corporation officials. We have set up control rooms with CCTV cameras,” he said. “Emergency complaint numbers are also distributed to students,” he added.

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