A sense of fear gripped the Jnana Bharathi campus after a second year National Law School of India University (NLSIU) student was allegedly gang-raped on Saturday night.
The sprawling campus measuring 1,100 acres looked desolate on Monday, partly because of the holiday.
However, the aftershock of the incident was evident on the campus. While NLSIU students were directed not to speak to the media, Bangalore University (BU) students reiterated the need to tighten security on the campus.
‘We Don’t Feel Secure’
“It is clear that such a vast campus does not have enough security personnel. Policemen brandishing simple lances do little to help us feel secure after such an incident,” said Vinutha, a PG Social Science student, who stays at BU ladies hostel.
The BU hostel for ladies has a 7 pm deadline, after which students are not allowed to step out or step in.
“Even if we are out on the campus at 6 pm, we feel scared with the pack of boys strolling about,” added Sowbhagya, a Women’s Studies student.
Many also attributed the incident to ‘cultural differences’ between BU and NLSIU, placing the onus on the NLSIU student for venturing out late into the night.
A second year NLSIU student who knew the victim, on condition of anonymity, said, “As students, we know Jnana Bharathi is not the safest of places. Incidents of crime have happened here before. But this one is very shocking and unfortunate.” According to the university norms, first year students have to return before 8 pm, while senior students have a deadline of 12 pm.
‘No Proper Patrol’
Although the campus has its own police station, the student alleged that very few policemen are seen on night patrol.
“The campus is pitch dark after sunset and there is no mobile network. Also, the roads are bad. They have to provide security at all times,” students said.
The NLSIU has 400 LLB students and 200 LLM students. Another student added that, a bar and restaurant which is just 50 metres ahead of NLS is also causing problems.Justifying the fear among students, a faculty member at NLSIU said, “The incident is likely to have an impact on the student turnout on the first day of new semesters starting Tuesday.”
A police keeping watch outside the NLSIU said there is a proposal to divide the Jnana Bharathi limits into two for better policing.
“For now, there is only one police station for the entire campus and such incidents are inevitable on large campuses. We have been asking for a separate subdivision to monitor this part of the campus,” the official said, adding “the situation could have been avoided if the girl in question had not ventured outside so late.”
Sources said top officials of NLSIU held a meeting on Monday in connection with the incident. Registrar V Nagaraj spoke to Express and said that the university has given all the relevant information to the police.