The procession taken out by NBU students and research scholars on Friday. Picture by Kundan Yolmo

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 19: Around 500 students and research scholars of North Bengal University today took out a march on the premises and in the surrounding locality of Shivmandir to protest against two separate incidents of molestations on the campus and in its immediate vicinity this week.

The rally started from the varsity’s humanities block at 11.15am and the participants assembled at the same spot after passing through Shivmandir and NH31. They shouted slogans demanding the formation of a varsity committee announced by the vice-chancellor to recommend security measures on the campus and the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment that hears and addresses issues of sexual harassment.
“The VC had promised that a committee would be formed to recommend measures to upgrade security arrangements on the campus and we want it to be constituted immediately. The authorities should form the committee to look into the allegations of sexual harassment. We also want an increase in the number of security guards, installation of more CCTV cameras and blocking of gaps in the boundary wall to prevent the intrusion of outsiders,” said a PhD researcher.
On August 15, a research scholar had alleged that she had been molested on the campus by a biker when she was returning to the hostel from her department. A similar incident was reported yesterday when a biker allegedly molested a post-graduate student near the campus.
Later in the evening, Matigara police arrested Ujjwal Pal, 24, on the basis of the bike number provided to them by the student. The police claimed that Pal was behind both the molestations and similar incidents on the campus in the past.
Although the varsity was not shut down, majority of the students did not attend classes this morning to participate in the procession.
“We will not let the issue die down just because the culprit has been caught. We want the authorities to implement security arrangements which are so stringent that nobody ever dares to molest a student again. That is why we took out the rally today to press our demands,” a student said.
The processionists submitted a memorandum with their demands to Swapan Kumar Rakshit, the varsity’s registrar (officiating). “We received names of representatives of students and research scholars for the committee today. The representatives of teachers, employees and officials have already been selected. Now that we have their names, too, the committee will be formed. The committee will decide on other demands,” Rakshit said.