GUWAHATI, June 10 - For the students of Gauhati University, their security in the campus is under threat allegedly because of the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities. This fact came to light during a ground investigation carried out by this correspondent after a molestation case was reported in the university campus recently.
Officially there are altogether three entry/exit points available at the university, where private security guards have been deployed by the authorities.
During the investigation it was found that, at the entry point located at Jalukbari, altogether five security guards were on duty along with 11 CCTV cameras. At the Satmile entry/exit point, altogether three security guards were on duty along with three CCTV cameras. At the Sundarbori point, two security guards were on duty along with four CCTV cameras. But near the university branch of the United Bank of India, two boards mentioned availability of CCTV cameras, but in reality no such cameras were found on the spot.
CCTV cameras were also available at the main entrance to the administrative block and at the entry points to both the girls� hostel campuses, besides in some departments.
Meanwhile, police officials who are investigating the molestation case that took place in the university campus, during a conversation with this correspondent alleged that their effort to nab the culprits was badly affected due to the poor quality visuals of the CCTV cameras.
�The incident took place during the night and it was raining. We have already collected footage of all CCTV cameras of the campus. But unfortunately most of the visuals are not clear. We have even examined all available footage in the presence of the victim, but she too failed to identify the culprits only because of the poor quality of the visuals,� a police official of Jalukbari Police Outpost told The Assam Tribune.
The police official said that in order to ensure proper security inside the campus, there is a need to set up a centralised system to monitor the entire campus through CCTV cameras. He informed that investigation is on to nab the culprits involved in the molestation.
Some students of the university while talking to this correspondent, raised serious concerns over the security system in the institution.
�As per our study, in the entire campus at present only 17 streetlights are in functional mode. There is no streetlight along the road from the university market to the girls� hostel block located in the south campus. Along the road from the university market to the girls� hostel block located in the north campus, only two streetlights are functioning. As such, the situation is vulnerable for all students and employees,� a student who did not wish to be named alleged.
A hostel mate of the victim said, �It was a horrific night for all of us. She was in panic and suffered a serious mental shock after the incident. Fortunately, now she has composed herself. We need a fully closed and secure campus, otherwise such crimes will continue in the future also. The environment in the campus is not healthy. We demand immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the crime and urge the authorities to install streetlights along with CCTV cameras in every nook and corner of the campus.�
Meanwhile, the private security guards deployed in the campus, are also suffering from a number of problems. One of them alleged that there is no electric fan available in the rooms allotted to them for accommodation inside the campus by the university authority. Even their monthly salary remains irregular due to various official reasons.
The in-charge of the security agency who is deployed in the university campus, said that there is a need to increase their manpower. At present altogether 40 private security guards are on duty in the campus. There is a need to increase their number to 50, the security in-charge said. Many snatching cases also took place in the past few months, he added.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr Mridul Hazarika said, �It is true that sometimes some streetlights remain defunct due to some technical snags. But it is not true that most of the streetlights are non-functional.�
According to Dr Hazarika, at present around 500 streetlights and 60 CCTV cameras are in place across the entire university campus.
After the recent incident, the authorities have restricted thoroughfare of all outsider vehicles. The VC stated that very soon they would also restrict entry of all city buses into the campus.
�After the incident we have tightened the security system with the help of police. Already the police have prepared some security protocol in consultation with us,� Dr Hazarika added.