n January 18, 2017, at the onset of a new semester, a first year student of Daulat Ram College was sexually assaulted by an employee of the Indian Overseas Bank that is inside the college. The incident came to light after the victim decided to share it with an ABVP activist in her college. “She came to me to ask whether she could leave the college. She was shivering. When I asked her why she wanted to leave, she broke down and told me that the man had unzipped her jacket and touched her inappropriately,” said Priya Sharma, the activist with whom the incident was first shared.
The 52 year old accused, Devinder Kumar, had apparently helped out the victim when she needed funds for her mother’s treatment. She lost her father a few years back and stays with her mother and an uncle in the Moti Nagar area. The accused also offered her a ride to college, claiming to live in the same area, which she accepted. The victim said he had made her uncomfortable prior to the incident as well, touching her under the pretense of changing gears while driving, but she put it down as an accident and chose to ignore it. She was traumatised when it happened again on their commute to college. Before she shared her plight with Priya Sharma, she had decided to not report it and instead drop out of college. The college authorities were made aware of the case after a few other college students wrote a letter to the Principal, who then reported it to the police. The Prinicipal of Daulat Ram College, Savita Rai, said that the incident took place around 11:45 a.m., and even though it didn’t take place inside the college, it was reported to the police as soon as it was brought to their notice.
An FIR was lodged at the Maurice Nagar Police Station, where the accused confessed to the crime and was charged under section 354 for molestation, which is a non-bailable offence. Reportedly, the court was supposed to proceed with the hearing for the case from January 19 onwards. The victim is currently undergoing counseling.