Kochi: A group of women students of the University of Calicut has written a letter to Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Ashok Bhushan seeking his intervention into the rising sexual assaults against them on the campus.
They, in the letter, said no action had been taken against the perpetrators despite several complaints to the authorities in this regard.
“Due 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 constantly under threat and live on campus with terrible fear. We are unable to pursue our studies or engage in normal day-to-day activities with any freedom,” they said.
Citing the University authority’s reluctance to put in place comprehensive measures and systems to protect the safety and security of women students on the campus, they sought the Chief Justice’s intervention into the issue.
Full text of the letter:
Hon. Hon. Chief Justice
Kerala high court
Most Respected Sir,
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.
Despite 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.
Due 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 constantly under threat and live on campus with terrible fear. We are unable to pursue our studies or engage in normal day-to-day activities with any freedom.
Though, from the Adv. Seemanthini Commission instituted by the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala in 1997 and the subsequent judgment of the Hon’ble High Court in OP No. 20105 of 1996-8 to the National Assessment and Accreditation Agency in 2010, there have been several Governmental and judicial directions repeatedly urging and instructing the University to put in place comprehensive measures and systems to protect the safety and security of women students, the University is yet to do anything at all regarding the same.
In these circumstances, we plead with you to intervene in the matter and initiate steps to ensure that women students at the University can live and undertake their studies and research with safety, security and the freedoms assured by the Constitution and the laws of the land, and that the perpetrators of these criminal acts and their protectors are punished in an exemplary manner.
For Women Students of the University of Calicut
Anupama D S
MPhil scholar, Department of Malayalam