JNU students allege assault, rape attempt, police harassment in Surajkund
Three students of Jawaharlal Nehru University were allegedly assaulted by locals in Haryana's Surajkund while they were returning from an outing at Bhardwaj Lake, Asola Wildlife Sanctuary on the night of 14 August. The local police added to their ordeal, they said.
The students alleged they were stopped by locals around 9 pm, harassed in the middle of the road and even beaten up. The only woman in the group said she was groped by the assaulters, some of whom even tried to rape her.
One of the two male students was allegedly attacked for his full beard; the assailants called him a "musalmaan" and "a cow thief".
Shockingly, policemen at Surajkund Police station reportedly made lewd remarks about the female student. Instead of bringing the accused to the book, they forced the students to write an apology note.
“There were seven of us who went to Bhardwaj Lake on 14 August. We had called for a cab at 8.30 pm but it did not reach the location where we were. One of us had a motorcycle, so the three of us decided to go and fetch the cab which was nearby. My female friend came along with us as she knew us best among everyone who was there," one of the assaluted students told Catch.
"On our way, we were stopped in the middle of the road by a drunken man with a lathi who was also on a bike. He asked us why we were there and what the girl was doing with us. He then called five-size more people and soon enough there were seven-eight people surrounding us. They beat us with lathis, even kicked and stomped on me. They called me a ‘musalmaan’ and abused me, even though I told them I was a Hindu," he continues.
"The girl was verbally abused, beaten, groped, and at one point, they even took her to the nearby cow shed. They said things like: 'Yahan hi karegi ya andar'. We were all so terrified. We begged them to let us go. In between, I informed one of my friends who were waiting for us about what was happening and they started calling the cops and whatever other help they could find. This went on for more than an hour. After a while, two guys, who were known to one of my friends, came on bikes to help us. Somehow, we managed to get out of there and thankfully my friend escaped rape but she is in shock and trauma,” he narrates.
The student told Catch that as they headed towards Delhi, they found a PCR van at the border between Faridabad and Delhi.
“The border police told us that the area where the assault happened comes under Surajkund police station jurisdiction and asked us to head there immediately. That is what we did. Little did we know that we were in for some more harassment," the student says.
After the students reached the police station a little after 11, they say the officials they met were "extremely hostile" and attempted to "moral police" them.
"They started commenting on my female friend’s clothes as she was wearing a dress. They said things like, “Yeh free sex ka culture tumhara jail mein karwate hain,” to which another said, “haan lag jao ek ke upar ek,” the student says.
According to the victims, the police in Surajkand police station did not file an FIR that night. Instead, they asked the students to write a letter of apology.
“We were asked to write a letter of apology stating that we were in the wrong and the police rescued us. We were so traumatised and we just wanted to get out of there. So we wrote the apology and left,” the student said.
The students filed a zero FIR at Vasant Kunj police station on 15 August. The female student even wrote a complaint against the duty officers at the Surajkund police station. The FIR was sent to the Surajkund police station and has been registered there.
However, the complainants aren’t satisfied with the charges that have been filed. “The charges that have been filed do not include attempt to murder and attempt to Rape, both of which we feel should certainly be included,” the student said.
Surajkund SHO Pankaj Kumar told Catch, “We have received a zero FIR from the Vasant Kunj police station. The FIR does mention harassment by duty officials in Surajkund police station although no names were mentioned. At this moment we cannot disclose the names of the duty officials but we will verify who were on duty that night. We will even meet with the complainants and verify what exactly happened. There will be a thorough investigation.”
The Surajkund police station comes under the Faridabad Commissionerate. The students are scheduled to meet DCP Crime Faridabad Sukbir Singh on 18 August.