A Ph.D. student of Jawaharlal Nehru University was allegedly molested while walking in the campus around midnight on Monday, sparking a protest by students and bringing into the spotlight again the issue of security in the vast campus.
Police said that a case has been registered and several teams are working to catch the accused.
They said 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 Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) Gaurav Sharma along with SHO Vasant Kunj North and staff rushed to the spot.
"It was revealed that at around 11.45 PM on Monday, a Ph.D. student was taking a stroll in the campus. When she was walking near the East Gate Road of the university, a man came on a bike from inside the campus and tried to molest her," Mr Sharma said.
The girl raised an alarm and the accused ran away.
"Considering the gravity and sensitivity of the incident, SWD police team led by DCP Gaurav Sharma acted promptly and cognisance was immediately taken," the Delhi Police later tweeted.
"FIR No 42/22 U/s 354A/354B/323/341/379 IPC at PS Vasant Kunj North has been registered and investigation is in progress. Several teams are working since then to nab the accused," it said.
Beating dhaplis and carrying placards demanding justice for a woman, scores of students protested against the incident on Tuesday. According to the protesters, they have given a 48-hour ultimatum to the police to make arrests or else they would intensify their agitation.
They claimed the accused accosted the victim while she was walking near the East Gate, dragged her, and tried to rape her. When she resisted, he escaped after snatching her mobile phone. "She has sustained cuts and bruises and is still in trauma. The police had shown her photographs of 25 to 30 suspects but she has said they were not involved. She says that she will be able to identify him," said a student.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union had given the protest call against the incident.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) and the students' union alleged that there has been a string of security lapses on the campus under the eyes of the Cyclops security agency and said the accused in the January 5, 2020 attack by masked men are yet to be arrested.
The JNU campus is spread over around 1,000 acres of land and has a large green area.
"There have been burglaries in the houses of faculty members, the January 5 attack when masked men entered the campus and attacked students and teachers and then this incident," JNUTA secretary Moushumi Basu said.
"Students work in the libraries and the incident happened on a well-lit road near the East Gate and the accused sped off towards the North Gate where the security guards are deployed and there are CCTV cameras," she said.
The students' body alleged that there has been an increase in "gender insensitivity in the campus with normalising of sexist comments and misappropriate remarks along with an alarming increase in cases of stalking and harassment". Slogans of ''Halla Bol'', ''Dilli Police Sharm Karo'', and ''We want a safe campus'' rang through the air as students marched in the campus to demand justice for the survivor.
They were proceeding to the Vasant Kunj police station but were stopped at the West gate by the police personnel. "We met the police officers and have given them a 48-hour ultimatum to arrest the accused. We also asked them to make the university administration accountable in the matter," said a student activist.
The students' union also criticised the university administration for remaining "silent" on the issue.
"There has been no statement from the university on the matter," the JNUSU said.
A student activist claimed that there have been incidents of sexual harassment on campus, especially during the lockdown. "The campus was considered to be safe for women but this incident has sent shock waves and women will now be scared to step out.
"Women have complained of being stalked and harassed and if they have approached the security agency, they have been morally policed saying that they should not have stepped out on the road," she said.
There was no response from the university administration. Calls to JNU VC Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar went unanswered.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)