In a curious case of harassment, an unidentified young man walked into Shyamaprasad College, kissed an unsuspecting student and fled, sparking bedlam on the south Calcutta campus late on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the authorities of the evening college, affiliated to Calcutta University, ordered a probe and enlisted police help to crack the kiss-and-run case.
Coming nine days after a Presidency College student's molestation by a middle-aged 'outsider', the Shyamaprasad incident has sparked consternation and concern.
Witnesses claimed the youth had entered the college with a group and was passing lewd comments at girls in the first-floor corridor. 'Suddenly, he leaned forward, embraced this girl and planted a kiss on her lips,' a witness recounted.
Her friends raised an alarm, but the culprit melted into the crowd and disappeared.
Within minutes, a clash broke out between two groups of students, as both SFI and Chhatra Parishad members claimed the eve-teaser was from the 'other camp'.
Principal Gyanankur Goswami said on Thursday: 'Around 8.30 pm, I heard a commotion in the corridor. A section of students was saying that some outsiders had come in and teased a girl student. I, along with other teachers, went around the entire campus, but could not spot any outsider.' Goswami, however, stated that he had not received any complaint of the girl having been kissed.
But that does not deflect attention from the college's security sieve. The principal admitted that the culprit was not the only outsider present on campus. 'Many boys from the adjoining areas regularly sneak into the college posing as students. We are taking the help of Bhowanipore police station to prevent unauthorised entry of outsiders,' he said.
According to the principal, being an evening college, providing proper protection and security to every girl student was a primary concern. 'We will take stern action against students if we find they are helping outsiders to enter the campus,' asserted Goswami.
Calcutta University on Thursday decided to ask the governing bodies of its institutions to beef up security.
'It is a matter of great concern that girl students are falling victim to harassment due to unauthorised entry of outsiders in this manner. We expect the colleges to guarantee proper protection of girl students,' said Suranjan Das, Calcutta University pro vice-chancellor (academic affairs).