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Ramjas College violence: Women's body opens inquiry into police molestation claims

Clash breaks out between activists of ABVP, AISA and other students from Delhi University. Photograph: (Getty)

PTI Delhi, India Feb 25, 2017, 04.57 PM (IST)

Delhi Commission for Women has launched an inquiry into claims that female college students were molested by Delhi Police during violence at Delhi University's Ramjas College. 

DCW has issued a notice to Delhi Police.

Ramjas College on Wednesday  was the scene of an ugly fight between two student parties -- left-wing members of AISA and right-wing outfit ABVP -- after two Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, considered by the right-wing as anti-nationals, were invited to address a seminar on 'Culture of Protests'.

The invitation was later withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP.

"We are of the view that these attacks on women protesters by policemen may also amount to molestation and need to be severely punished. The images of Delhi Police officers beating and misbehaving with women protesters are resonating across Delhi and India and have severely damaged the reputation of Delhi Police. It is a classic case of protectors turning abusers," said the notice issued to Joint CP, central Range.

"Further, the Commission is aghast to read newspaper reports alleging that Delhi Police claims it does not know who ordered the lathi charge on the protesters. Such statements raise suspicions about politicisation of police and the matter needs to be investigated urgently," it added.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal has pointed out in the notice that a similar "manhandling" of female students by policemen had happened last year when they were protesting in connection with the case of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed.

The commission has asked police to respond within a week with information on "number of police officers (male and female separately) deployed in and around Ramjas College for the said protest, names and designations of the Police cops clearly identifiable in the videos and photographs, who were seen punching and manhandling women protesters".

The Delhi Police had admitted "unprofessional" conduct on the part of some of its personnel during the clashes and suspended three policemen.

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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