Khushbu Sundar, a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW), urged people on Thursday not to view a lavatory video incident at an Udupi college from a communal perspective and emphasised that they had not discovered any conclusive evidence to support any accusations.
“The NCW and the police are diligently doing their job and will conduct the investigation without acting as judges. The NCW is committed to protecting women and does not work with any communal angle in mind,” the NCW member, who was sent to Udupi to investigate a July 18 incident at the Karnataka college.
Sundar asked people to refrain from seeing the incident from a communal aspect and stated that the commission’s goal is on protecting women regardless of religion.
Three Muslim female students at the private paramedical college set up a phone in the lavatory on 18 July to record a friend, according to the police’s first information report (FIR), which was filed after a political scandal over the incident emerged. But they ultimately decided to record a Hindu student. After expressing regret to the student, the three removed the video.
The student, who was visible in the since-deleted video, alerted her classmates about the incident, and someone else notified the college administration. According to the FIR, the college officials seized three mobile phones on July 19.
The issue, however, took a divisive turn when right-wing organisations asserted that the suspended students had secretly recorded private films of Hindu girls and distributed them to Muslim men as part of a plot.
The FIR claims that on July 25, the college administration convened a press conference to clarify the situation and claimed that the three students had admitted to creating the video and had since been suspended by the authorities.
On Thursday, BJP workers staged a demonstration near Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara’s residence in Bengaluru, alleging that the Congress government was supporting “terrorists”. The BJP’s women’s wing also staged a sit-in demonstration at Freedom Park in Bengaluru while the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), too staged demonstrations against the government in Udupi.
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar slammed the state government. “Congress government’s inability to deliver the guarantees announced during the elections, has led Siddaramaiah to play appeasement politics in the state.”
Sundar, who was deputed to inquire into the incident by
Lakshmi Hebbalkar, a minister responsible for women’s and children’s welfare and the Udupi district, charged the BJP with attempting to racially and politically distort the situation.
“The police have registered an FIR in connection with the case. I have instructed the SP to initiate action as per the provisions of the law. Strict action will be taken against the accused. There is no need to politicise the incident and the interest of the students is paramount. No one is above the law,” Hebbalkar added.
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