"Acts of violence and harassment of women students are increasing day by day at the University of Calicut campus. It is a most regretful fact that on a campus where more than 80% of the students are women, the security and safety of women are given little importance by the authorities of the University."
This is what a letter signed by around 450 girl students of the prestigious Calicut University says. In a desperate bid to garner attention to events in the university, the students have written to Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court and Governor P Sathasivam, who is also the Chancellor of the University.
The petition written by hostel students from different departments says that despite repeated complaints to university authorities and police, still they face harassment from some boys. The petitioners have alleged that authorities were trying to protect the offenders.
â€śDespite numerous complaints being lodged with the University authorities and police regarding acts of harassment, verbal threats, physical violence, the insulting use of obscene language and gestures, teasing in public places and on campus roads, objectionable bodily exposure and suggestive behavior, no action has been taken by the authorities against the perpetrators of these criminal acts. In fact, we are afraid that the authorities themselves are colluding in protecting and sheltering the offenders,â€ť the letter says.
Some of the girl students who spoke to media said that physical assault was at the behest of some boy students in particular departments and outsiders.
In the letter to the governor and chief justice, the girls have said they were living under constant threat and in the shadow of fear.
â€śDue to these acts of harassment by both the students of certain particular Departments/Centres and by anti-social elements from outside the campus, We are unable to pursue our studies or engage in normal day-to-day activities with any freedom,â€ť the complaint says.
The memorandum also refers to Adv. Seemanthini Commission instituted by the High Court of Kerala in 1997 and the subsequent judgment that stressed their rights to have protection, safety and security inside college campus.
Read Full Petition here