Athree-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising only women police officers has been formed to probe allegations that objectionable videos of several women students were recorded and shared by a hosteller at Chandigarh University.
“On directions of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, a three-member all-women SIT has been constituted to investigate Chandigarh University case, under the supervision of senior IPS officer Gurpreet Kaur Deo. One student and two others arrested… Electronic devices seized and sent for forensic examination,” said DGP Punjab Gaurav Yadav.
Authorities at Chandigarh University have suspended classes for six days till September 24 amid strident demonstrations by students. Protests were called off around 1:30 am on Monday after the administration accepted the demands put forward by the students.
In further action taken by the varsity, two hostel wardens have been suspended. All hostel wardens are being transferred and hostel timings have also been changed.
WHAT ARE PROTESTS ABOUT?
Massive protests broke out on campus post-midnight on Saturday, after students alleged that ‘private’ and ‘objectionable’ videos of several female hostel inmates were leaked on the internet.
We want justice and there should be a CBI inquiry on this because a big game has happened in this, #chandigarhuniversity#ChandigarhUniversityMMSleaked
We want CBI inquiry against the University and against the girl#chandigarhuniversitymms pic.twitter.com/ZSfhu44FHW— Ajay Kumar (@ajaykumar01__) September 18, 2022
So far, authorities have nabbed three persons pertaining to the alleged making and circulation of objectionable videos of female students of the varsity — a woman student, a 23-year-old man, rumoured to be her boyfriend, from Himachal Pradesh and his 31-year-old friend.
The students alleged that videos of nearly 60 girls taking baths in the hostel were leaked. On the other hand, the varsity issued a statement that one video was circulated. Moreover, it was captured and circulated by the accused. They said that the girl had made the video and shared it herself with her friend in Himachal Pradesh.
Students demanded that the statements of those female students whose videos, they alleged, got leaked, be recorded before representative of students. They also sought an apology from the management.
Several students individually put forth their demands before the university authorities on many issues including changing hostel wardens, relaxation in timings for hostel entry, and safety issues.
#ChandigarhUniversity Controversy | Accused in MMS scandal arrested from Shimla. Student protest continues. Here's why@manjeet_sehgal @chaiti @kamaljitsandhu pic.twitter.com/EzGlNee6po— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) September 18, 2022
WHAT AUTHORITIES CLAIM
Following a day-long protest, speculation was rife about the university trying to conceal the truth. The administration has consistently denied that videos of several women students in the varsity hostel were made and leaked on social media and that distraught students had attempted suicide.
“No student committed suicide. A preliminary probe reveals that the accused girl had sent her own pictures/videos to her boyfriend. No other material was found. FIR filed. Police are probing it. I appeal to students and parents not to believe any rumours,” the pro-chancellor said.
Punjab’s Additional Director General of Police Gurpreet Deo stated that the accused woman student appeared to have shared a video of herself with the youth and no objectionable video of any other student was found.
An FIR under IPC section 354-C (voyeurism) and the IT Act has been registered in the matter and further probe is on, officials said.
GOVT ORDERS PROBE
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said that a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident. “Sad to hear of the incident at Chandigarh University. Our daughters are our pride. We have ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. Whoever is guilty will face strict action. I am constantly in touch with the administration. I appeal to all of you to avoid rumours.”
#ChandigarhUniversity MMS scandal shocks the nation | Here's what happened | Also take a look at political reactions that poured in @chaiti #ITVideo pic.twitter.com/je1whl8raz— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) September 18, 2022
State education minister, Harjot Singh Bains, has appealed to the students of the university to keep calm. No one guilty will be spared, he said.