IPCW fest row: Ex-teachers, students write to principal, seek apology

Over 1,100 people including former teachers and students demand apology and question management's action and reaction to recent harassment incident.

Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi. (Picture: Official Website)Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi. (Picture: Official Website)

Press Trust of India | April 5, 2023 | 06:01 PM IST

NEW DELHI: More than 1,100 people, including former teachers and students of DU’s IPCW, have expressed deep concern over the recent incident of alleged harassment at a fest and demanded an apology from Principal Poonam Kumria.

They have also raised a host of questions regarding the incident questioning the management's action and reaction in a letter signed by all of them. The letter comes a week after some "unknown" men allegedly trespassed, shouted slogans and harassed women students during the annual 'Shruti' festival at the Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW).

Also Read | IPCW DU college to provide counselling to students harassed at fest

The authors of the letters are former teachers of the college, parents and concerned citizens. "The undersigned consist of students since the early 1960s. IPCW has never seen times worse than what we are witnessing now. We, members of the academia and civil society, are deeply concerned with what is happening and strongly feel that the College needs to proactively protect its girls rather than further harass them," the letter signed by 1,108 individuals read.

They questioned why the college management chose not to support the student who is hospitalised as a result of the violence and why it did not offer to provide full financial support for her medical procedures. "Why is the College threatening students with dire consequences if they continue their protests, calling parents of the already traumatised students and creating an atmosphere of fear through punitive measures?" they asked.

Also Read | DU sets up committee to inquire into alleged harassment of IPCW students during fest

"An apology would go a long way in restoring confidence and the camaraderie that IPCW has had over the past 99 years. We demand that students will be able to send their chosen nominees to be members of the investigation committee," it read. The incident of alleged harassment drew widespread criticism.

A host of protests were organised against the principal following the incident, wherein the students also alleged attempts to "saffronise" the college, claiming increased surveillance and curtailment of freedom of speech at the hands of the newly-appointed principal.

In a statement, Kumria said the management has requested the police to send a lady officer to the college on Wednesday to register the students' complaints Delhi University's IPCW has also started counselling sessions for students who have claimed to have experienced trauma due to the alleged harassment during its annual fest, she said. In her second statement in the last two days, the principal said Indraprastha College for Women is concerned over the inconvenience experienced by some of the students during the festival and requested the students to avail the services of the counsellor.

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