Outnumbered by mob, we felt uncomfortable: Miranda House student recalls what happened at Diwali fest on October 14 

Students from the institution shared videos on social media that showed men scaling the boundaries of the wall to enter the campus
Entry to Miranda House | Pic: EdexLive
Entry to Miranda House | Pic: EdexLive

The gates opened at around 12 pm on October 14. The National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of our college, Miranda House, Delhi University organised the Diwali fest. There were a lot of people waiting outside for entry. The turnout was way more than what the students, organisers and authorities expected. But the crowd got out of control immediately.

Men behaved like it was their campus and it got very overcrowded. That is when the organisers and the police present on campus decided to restrict entry to any more people. I think that was the trigger point. It agitated a lot of people standing outside. They started jumping over the gates and walls. You must have seen the videos on social media. Students started feeling very uncomfortable as it was very crowded for people to even move.

Organisers did have a registration desk where they were verifying the IDs of people who were entering. Even though the gates were closed, people started pushing the gates open. It was very violent. One of the volunteers also fell down. No one could do anything. The authorities and police were outnumbered by the mob. This is when the catcalling, groping and jeering started. One of my friends was groped by these men. They shouted slogans like “Ramjas ka Naara hai, Miranda poora hamara hai”. It felt so unsafe because they occupied so much space.

One of the men was able to climb up the stairs and onto the roof of the hostel. I guess he was trying to show off, even though Delhi Police was present on campus. We went and personally complained which is when they took action.

And we are experiencing all of this for the first time. We are from the COVID-19 batch so this is one of our first fests because we came to campus recently. I don’t know about the fests that were organised before this. But we did not experience anything like this before. No one could control the crowd so we had to cancel the event at the end.

(A Delhi University student, on the condition of anonymity, narrates what transpired on the day of the fest. The student was present on campus)

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