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The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of the Centre and the CBI on a plea seeking a court-monitored probe by the agency into the alleged molestation of students during a cultural festival at Delhi University’s all-women Gargi College last week.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation on a plea filed by advocate M L Sharma.

The plea was filed on Thursday, hours after the Supreme Court declined to entertain the petition and asked the petitioner to move the high court.

Sharma has sought the preservation of all video recordings and CCTV camera footage of the college campus in his plea.

The plea has also sought the arrest of people behind the “planned criminal conspiracy”.

Ten people, between the ages of 18 and 25 years, were arrested by police on February 12 in connection with the incident.

On February 6, a group of men broke into the Gargi College during the festival ‘Reverie’ and allegedly groped, harassed and molested the students who claimed that security officials stood watching.

The incident came to light after some students took to Instagram to narrate their ordeal and alleged that security personnel did nothing to control the unruly groups.

“It is a clear criminal conspiracy hatched by the political party to deploy accused persons to provoke the Delhi public for voting in their favour. Despite presence of Delhi Police... on February 6, neither principal nor other state authorities tried to stop and arrest the accused persons,” Sharma’s PIL claimed.

The petition added that “deliberate chants of Jai Shri Ram discloses that it is a political, planned conspiracy” and blamed the chief minister of Delhi for not taking any action against the accused.

According to the police, a case was registered under IPC sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
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