After pressure and protests, Delhi Police arrest 27-year-old man for molesting PhD student inside JNU campus 

The accused was apparently drunk at the time of the incident, and was upset after an argument with his wife earlier in the day
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

The Delhi Police has announced that a 27-year-old man was arrested on Sunday for allegedly molesting a PhD student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) inside the campus. The accused was drunk at the time of the incident and has been identified as Akshay Dolai, the police said.

A native of West Bengal, Dolai lived with his wife and children in south Delhi's Munirka and worked at a mobile repairing shop at Bikaji Cama Place. The accused was identified and caught after the footage from more than a thousand CCTV cameras in and around the JNU campus was analysed, police said, adding Dolai was arrested while he was entering his rented house.

According to the police, on the morning of January 17, the accused had a fight with his wife after which, she left for her mother's house. An upset Dolai is believed to have consumed alcohol in the evening and headed towards JNU on his scooter. Upon reaching the university, he saw three women entering the campus and followed them with "bad intentions".

However, the trio went inside their hostels, police said. After a while, he spotted the PhD student jogging inside the campus. When she reached an isolated spot, Dolai allegedly stopped and molested her.

As the woman resisted, a scuffle ensued and Dolai sustained an injury on one of his legs. The student then took out her phone and threatened to inform the police. However, Dolai snatched the phone and escaped.

The police say that a PCR call regarding a female student being molested inside JNU was received at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station at around 12.45 am on January 17. Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) Gaurav Sharma along with SHO Vasant Kunj North and staff rushed to the spot.

"We checked the registers at the entry gates but found no entry related to the accused or his vehicle. It was difficult and the woman was also traumatised. We scanned over a thousand CCTVs in the area," he explained.

The investigating team mapped the route taken by Dolai with the help of CCTVs in the area and found that he returned to Munirka, police said. "After he left the campus, he went to Nelson Mandela Marg but saw police pickets and turned towards Ring Road. We have footage of his activities. We identified him and then arrested him from his house," Sharma said.

A case of outraging the modesty of a woman has been registered at Vasant Kunj North Police Station, police said. Dolai's scooter along with the student's phone has been seized.

Will fight for a gender-just campus

The JNU Student's Union (JNUSU) meanwhile, has released a statement demanding a speedy trial and punishment for the accused. The students, who have been protesting constantly since the incident on January 17 against the alleged lapse in security on the campus, have also added that they will continue advocating for a safer, 'gender-just' campus. They have also added that they will ask the administration to reinstate the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) to tackle such issues on campus as they claim that GSCASH has better representation than the current Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). 

The JNU administration is also under the scanner of the Delhi Women's Commission, which had issued a notice last week, asking the Registrar of the varsity to furnish details about the ICC and the GSCASH, and the administration's efforts in providing a safe campus to its students.

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