Published: 19th September 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: Rumours, arrests, protests: What is happening at Chandigarh University?
Protests broke out in Chandigarh University campus over an alleged objectionable video of female students recorded and leaked. However, authorities and the police dismiss all as “rumours”.
Massive protests broke out at Chandigarh University on Saturday, September 18 after it was alleged that a female student of the Chandigarh University’s women's hostel recorded and leaked objectionable videos of other hostellers. Three accused including a girl student from the college have been arrested in connection with the case.
Read #WhatTheFAQ for all the details about the protest so far.
Initially, it was alleged that the accused female hostel resident of Chandigarh University, a first-year MBA student, took objectionable videos of 60 girls and sent them to a man in Himachal Pradesh and the man later leaked them online. It was also alleged that the accused blackmailed other students by demanding money for not leaking their videos.
Rumours of girls attempting suicide after witnessing their leaked videos online also did the rounds and videos surfaced of a student collapsing from an anxiety attack and getting hospitalised. This set off huge protests on the university campus and a storm of fear and rage ravaged the students of the university. The three-day protest was marred by chaos.
On Sunday, heavy police was deployed on the grounds of the campus to restore peace, which further deteriorated the scenario. The university had further shut its hostel gates and girls were seen climbing over them to leave the hostel premises. This agitated the protesters further and students raised slogans against the authorities for manhandling the situation.
What actions were taken?
On Sunday solidarity and demand for action poured in from all over the nation and the Punjab government ordered a probe into the incident. The state Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains requested the students to stay calm and assured them of action via a tweet dated September 18, 2022.
The tweet read: "I humbly request all the students of Chandigarh University to remain calm, no one guilty will be spared. It’s a very sensitive matter & relates to dignity of our sisters & daughters. We all including media should be very very cautious, it is also test of ours now as a society.” A forensic team collected evidence and phones were taken for investigation."
What did the officials say?
After an investigation, the police dismissed the rumours of 60 videos being circulated. According to the latest reports, the accused shared only one private video of herself with a boy in Himachal Pradesh, who happens to be her boyfriend, and did not record or share videos of anybody else. The reports of suicide attempts were also rubbished as rumours by the police and university authorities. The alleged circulated videos are yet to be found. As per the officials, all these rumours are completely baseless.
An official statement issued by Dr RS Bawa, Pro-Chancellor, Chandigarh University, said, “There are rumours that seven girls have committed suicide, whereas the fact is that no girl has taken any such step. No girl has been admitted to hospital in the incident."
Additionally, as per The Indian Express reports, Vivek Sheel Soni, the Mohali SSP, said, “So far in our investigation, we found out that there is only one video of the accused herself. She has not recorded any other video of anyone else.”
What ended the protests finally?
The protests were finally called off around 1.30 am on Monday after three major demands of the students were met. The demands include a transparent investigation where a ten-member student committee will be given updates on the case, the warden of the hostel would be suspended and the particular hostel will be thoroughly checked. As per the reports of India Today, the other demands of the students include an apology from the management, change of hostel wardens and relaxation in timings for hostel entry.
What is the current scenario?
India Today reports also say that three people have been held so far and two wardens have been suspended over the incidents. The three held individuals include the 22-year-old accused female resident of the hostel, a 23-year-old man from Shimla and another 31-year-old man from Himachal Pradesh.
The university will remain closed for the next six days till September 24. The university also suspended two hostel wardens. In another report by NDTV, the students say that the police claims aren’t consistent. Students allude that the authorities might be trying to suppress the issue with false information. They also slammed the warden who made sexist comments saying that the problem lay in the dress of the students and not the videos. However, the concerned warden has been suspended and the investigation is still on.