Monday, April 22, 2024
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Stabbing shocker: DU students, colleges call for mandatory self-defence training


A recent video of a 22-year-old student being stabbed by a man has become widely-discussed amongst Delhi University (DU) goers. The victim was stabbed outside her paying guest (PG) accommodation on Hudson Lane, near Mukherjee Nagar.

A moment from the self-defence workshop that was held at Maulana Azad Medical College; (inset) A still from the CCTV footage of the attack.

While an investigation is underway, the incident has spurred an urgency to raise awareness around self-defence and college authorities are turning to Delhi Police officials for assistance.

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“We conduct regular self-defence training in colleges as well as schools. But since news of this incident broke, we have been receiving more requests to conduct such training sessions,” shares Kiran Sethi, sub-inspector, Delhi Police and in-charge of the All-Women Police Station at GB Road. Sethi, who has trained over 10 lakh young women, adds,“In particular, Janki Devi Memorial College, Lady Irwin College, Mata Sundri College For Women and Zakir Husain Delhi College have put in requests. Training sessions at these colleges will be held in the first week of April.”

Bijayalaxmi Nanda, principal, Miranda House, states, “Such incidents require us to have a multi-pronged approach, which includes self-defence classes for women… A session on women’s safety was planned for this month end for the non-collegiate and NCWEB students. Now, however, we will have an orientation by the Internal Committees and Gender Sensitisation Committee, for all students as soon as the mid-semester break is over.”

Students say it is concerning that colleges make these sessions voluntary, which keeps youngsters from taking them seriously. Palak Dagar, a final-year student at Zakir Husain Delhi College and a member of the college’s Women Development Cell (WDC), concurs, “Ever since I sought admission in DU, I’ve seen such sessions organised sparsely, often with sports teachers assigned charge. We are determined to invite only experienced trainers, to encourage more students to participate and learn to defend themselves.”

For others, the incident was a call to action to give prominence to women’s safety. Aakansha Nehra, a second-year student of Hansraj College and WDC member, says, “We had plans in place for our fest, scheduled for April 5 and 6. But the stabbing incident made us change the original idea to focus on street harassment and spread awareness about women’s security.”

Sethi further stresses the importance of such sessions, “Young women should know how best to tackle an attacker, be it a creep in the bus or metro, or someone aggressively coming from the front.”

Kiran Sethi, SI, Delhi Police, who has trained over 10 lakh young women feels it's absolutely important for women to learn some quick moves to stay safe in case of an attack. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Kiran Sethi, SI, Delhi Police, who has trained over 10 lakh young women feels it’s absolutely important for women to learn some quick moves to stay safe in case of an attack. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Safety tips

  1. If attacked from behind, stomp hard on the assailant’s foot or hit their nose with your elbow.

2. Block frontal attacks using your arm. Make a fist and aim a punch at their eyes or nose.

3. Kick the attacker’s shin, instep or kneecap.

4. Use objects like hair pins, keys, nail filers or pens to jab their thigh or chin area.

Inputs by Kiran Sethi, SI, Delhi Police

 



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