DU Makes Police Permission Mandatory for Events, Fests; ‘Decision After Miranda House Incident’

New Delhi: The proctor of the Delhi University has – on the insistence of Delhi Police – issued an advisory stating that police permission will now be required before any event or fests are held at DU colleges and institutions.

Though the advisory was reportedly issued following police advice after an incident at Miranda House in which men scaled walls, entered the premises and allegedly harassed women students during a Diwali fest on October 14, the advisory does not mention the scale or nature of events it seeks to cover.

Thus it is not clear if the clauses of the advisory will pertain to students’ protests, seminars with speakers and listeners from outside the college attending, and performance events as well.

‘Shouldn’t be opened for all’

The advisory, issued by proctor Rajni Abbi, on October 27, stated that the guidelines were being issued “in the light of an advisory received from the police department”.

The guidelines were categorised under six points. They stated that “no event without proper permission of police should be organised or in case of emergency/ lack of time, at least one-day prior intimation should be given to the police station Maurice Nagar.”

Further, the advisory stated that only “a few college/ department students” should be allowed entry if events or fests are to be organised. It added that “entry should be allowed only after registration for the event” and that too “with the ID of the college”.

“It should not be opened for all,” the advisory notes.

DU has also advised the colleges to deploy volunteers at the time of events and the advisory stated that the “number of volunteers may also be intimated to the police”.

Apart from police permission, the advisory reminded the colleges to take “necessary permission from other departments, like fire and electricity” for such events.

Finally, it added that if any of the guidelines were not followed then the concerned college or department shall be held “solely responsible” for any untoward incident that may happen during any such event organised by them.

Though the advisory does not state a reason behind the police seeking these measures, an official in the Proctor’s office told The Wire it was triggered by the Miranda House incident.

Screengrabs from various videos showing men in and around the Miranda House campus in New Delhi.

On October 14, the National Service Scheme unit of the college had organised a ‘Diwali Mela’ which was open to all with a valid student identity card.

The event had witnessed an overwhelming response and a very large number of students from other colleges had turned up. Though there was some police deployment at the college gates, the situation reached a point where the security personnel had to close the gates to prevent more people from entering the campus.

However, several male students and other outsiders were seen and captured on cameras jumping over gates and scaling walls to enter the campus. Some were also caught on video raising sexist slogans.

Later, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal tweeted that some girls had levelled serious allegations of eve-teasing and harassment during the event. She said the DCW has issued a notice to Delhi police and the college administration in this matter.

Delhi police had registered a First Information Report into the incident while Miranda House had issued an emergency standard operating procedure for future events.

This article was first published on The Wire