A young couple was allegedly harassed for sitting “too closely” to each other on Ranchi Women’s College campus on Tuesday afternoon.
According to sources, the boy and the girl, both outsiders, were sitting in front of the science block when a group of 20 from Adivasi Chhatravas — a hostel run by the welfare department for tribal boys — raised objections.
Reportedly, they asked the couple to sit “properly”. But the boy challenged their authority and a heated argument followed. A boarder from Adivasi Chhatravas slapped the boy and called more friends and police for help.
“But before police came, the inmates from Adivasi Chhatravas thrashed the boy black and blue. When the girl raised her voice, the boarders from Mahila Chhatravas came in open support of the tribal boys. Another round of argument followed. It continued till police from Lalpur thana arrived,” said a boarder of Mahila Chhatravas.
The girl in question, however, denied that they were sitting in an objectional pose. “The boys suddenly came and started beating up my friend,” she said.
College principal Manju Sinha conceded that a clash broke out on the campus, but washed her hand of it. “Though Mahila Chhatravas is located on the campus, I don’t have any control over it. It is looked after by the welfare department. The Adivasi Chhatravas is adjacent to the girls’ hostel, but, in a different compound. It is also run by the same department,” she added.
Asked about campus security, the principal said it was a challenging task to keep a tab on everyone. “A guard is deputed at the entrance, but it is not easy to offer foolproof security. There are many quarters on the campus and identifying every relative and family member of the occupants is not possible,” she explained.
A college employee, however, said a opening in the common boundary wall of the science block and Adivasis Chhatravas gives free access to boys from the tribal hostel.
Lalpur officer-in-charge Shailesh Prasad said the girl had lodged a complaint. “Both victims are residents of Booty More,” he added.