Students march in DU against Gargi College molestation incident

(Eds: adding details, related developments)
    New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Scores of students from leftist outfits took out a march in Delhi University's North Campus on Friday to express solidarity with anti-CAA protesters and the students of Gargi College here who were allegedly molested during an event last week.
    During the march, the students stopped at various points on the campus where they recited poems and raised slogans of 'azaadi' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'.
    The event was organised on Valentine's Day to highlight the message of how unity and love are answers to hate, the protesters said.
    The march started from Arts Faculty and crossed many colleges and later culminated at the starting point. Outside the Arts Faculty, two students of Jamia Millia Islamia were selling badges and stickers.
    Simeen Anjum, a Bachelor's student of Jamia said, "We have done wall art on the walls of the varsity. We are also going to other protest sites and painting banners for them. In order to raise money, we have put up this stall to sell stickers and badges."
    Abhigyan, a student of DU said, "We are giving the message of love in this time of hatred. Hate has right now claimed power in our country. To spread love in the time of resistance --  love for the idea of our country -- and to reclaim Ambedkar, Faiz, we organised this event."
    The protesting students also went to Hindu College after they heard that the students were going ahead with their Valentine's Day ritual despite there being objections to it.     
     The students of Hindu College worshipped Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh as part of their annual Valentine's Day customary 'Virgin Tree' worship.
    Every year, the students from Hindu College boys' hostel worship the tree and decorate it with condoms and a Bollywood actress' pictures, calling her 'Damdami Mai', since it is considered good luck for those looking to find love.
    As some students have been objecting to the ritual saying it objectifies women, this year meetings were held between the students and the college administration. It was decided that the ritual should not objectify a particular gender and should include day scholars also.
    The students worshipped Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh as part of the ritual despite some students protesting it.
    Gargi College, in a statement, said the students have been encouraged to express their concerns and ask questions fearlessly.
    To mitigate the trauma and address the anxieties and concerns of the student body after the incidents of molestation on February 6 during the Gargi College Annual Festival 'Reverie', the college administration has held two face-to-face interactive sessions in which the principal and teachers held open dialogues with the student body and answered all their questions.
    "A staff association and a staff council meeting have been organised to brain storm the redressal mechanism and future course of action," the college said in a statement.
    A fact-finding committee has been set up consisting of elected faculty members and student representatives which will independently investigate and recommend the security and sensitivity protocols, it said.
    Two department-wise general body meetings have been held to facilitate rebuilding of trust and communication between the students and teachers, the statement added.
    The students were given an opportunity to independently interact with the university officials which included the proctor, dean of students' welfare and the varsity's Internal Complaints Council (ICC), it said. PTI SLB RDM

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)