Mahua Maji (centre) at Ranchi Women’s College on Wednesday. (Hardeep Singh)
State women’s commission chairperson Mahua Maji on Wednesday visited Ranchi Women’s College, a day after a young couple — both outsiders — was allegedly harassed at the science block for sitting “too close” to each other.
The purpose of her visit was to get first-hand information of the incident and to ascertain whether the couple was really at fault or the group of 20 boys from the adjacent Adivasi Chhatravas — a hostel run by the state welfare department — had specifically targeted the girl.
Maji arrived at the college around 1pm.
She was accompanied by DSP (city) P.N. Singh and Ranchi University’s proctor and dean (students welfare) Diwakar Minz and Satish Chandra Gupta, respectively. Ranchi Women’s College science block professor in-charge Meena Sahay and Sarna Dharmaguru Bandhan Tigga were also present.
During her hour-long stay on the campus, Maji visited the spot where the boy was beaten up. She spoke to some of the girl students of Mahila Chhatravas, which is located on the premises.
Notably, when the inmates from Adivasi Chhatravas were thrashing the boy black and blue, his girlfriend had claimed that they were not sitting in an objectionable position. But the boarders from Mahila Chhatravas had supported the tribal boys.
Although she did not confirm it, the remedial measures Maji suggested to the college authorities to prevent the recurrence of such incidents clearly hinted that she held both the male and female boarders guilty.
“As the hostels whose boarders harassed the young couple are being looked after by the welfare department, direction has been given to college authorities to hold a meeting with the district welfare office to ensure proper discipline among the inmates,” Maji said.
A visitor’s room should be made where the students can meet their near and dear ones under the safe eyes of the college authorities, she added.
The state women’s commission chairperson further asked the college authorities to plug the opening in the common boundary wall of the science block and Adivasis Chhatravas, as it gave free access to boys from the tribal ho stel.
Ranchi University proctor Minz, however, came in strong defence of the Adivasi Chhatravas boarders.
“The boys did not enter the campus on their own. They were called by some of the residents of the science block after they found the couple engaging in indecent acts,” Minz said.
He further said that if an inquiry was conducted, it would come to the fore that the tribal boarders were not mischief-makers, but rather trouble-shooters.
Minz, however, quickly added: “Although I do agree that their entry on the college campus is unauthorised.”