Bharathiar University: FIR against girls' hostel security breach registered after 17 days; We are in a nightmare, say students 

Even after we lodged a complaint stating that our belongings went missing directly with the police, they did not show interest, said a student from the hostel
File photo of Bharathiar University | (Pic: Express)
File photo of Bharathiar University | (Pic: Express)

Two weeks after students’ protests at Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, which was organised to address the security lapse in the girl's hostel which allegedly lead to a stranger's intrusion during night hours, the Coimbatore district police registered a case on April 19, Friday.

The FIR was officially registered around 17 days after the student's protest. "Police who are quick to register even petty cases, acted in a slow manner to register FIR in this issue even though it is linked with hundreds of girl students,” they alleged.

Even after we lodged a complaint stating that our belongings went missing directly with the police, they did not show interest, said a student from the hostel.

Instead of registering an FIR, police offered night patrolling. It is suspected that the delay in registering an FIR is due to the fact that once it is registered, the pressure will be on them to undertake an official investigation and to arrest suspects immediately, the student suspected.

"Security arrangements are said to have been strengthened. But every night we are in a nightmare. Wardens ask us not to open doors if anybody knocks at night. The situation will continue until police arrest the strangers," said another student.

According to the students, the issue of strangers' intrusion during night hours and theft attempts was brought to the knowledge of the university administration a month ago. As there were no proper responses, they held a protest on March 31 in front of the university.

The protest was withdrawn after they were assured of security measures and that the issue will be taken to the police for investigation. But the police did not register the case even after receiving the complaint. The unknown intrusion was continued till last week.

The university registrar lodged one more complaint with video evidence. The police registered the case on April 16,  Friday, under sections 457, 380 and 511of IPC.

According to the police report, University Registrar K Murugavel (58) said in his complaint that an unknown man on Sunday (April 10), early morning around 1.40 am, entered the girl's hostel by breaking open the window. Also, he attempted to steal a laptop.

As one of the students from the hostel, threw a stick at him, the person dropped the attempt and managed to escape from the premises. “We gave the written complaint to the police on March 31 itself. Immediately they provide security assistance. But we don't know why they took this much time to register the case," said University Vice-Chancellor P Kaliraj.

When asked, a police officer at Vadavalli station, said they took the time to check the veracity of the complaint. "We are working to trace the stranger and frequently monitoring the campus," said the officer, who did not want to be named.

Besides, the university management has strengthened the security measures to their level best. "As many as 27 ex-servicemen and a few women security staff are deployed to strengthen the security across the campus and two watchtowers have been set up to ease ariel view surveillance. As many as 18 CCTV cameras are provided to monitor the movements round the clock. Also, we plan to fix galvanised sheets of four feet height for 500 meters on a compound wall to prevent wall jumping," said Kaliraj.

There are 1,279 students staying in 11 hostels including five girls' hostels. The last one, Vasugi hostel, which is at the edge of the campus is frequently witnessing strangers' intrusion as it is situated near the forest boundary, said sources.

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