Admission seekers, their parents turn into violent mob; refuse to accept admission closure

Windows were smashed, choicest abuses hurled, a clerk and some university security-men roughed up and the administration of Delhi University’s Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB) held hostage for several hours inside their own building on Friday. The police were finally called in after admission- seekers and their parents refused to accept that admissions had been closed since Tuesday and that there would be no third cut-off list.

“I reached office at about 9 a.m. and there was a line forming despite the notice stating clearly that we had closed admissions. I thought they would go when informed but more and more people kept coming in and would not leave. There were a few people among them telling the others not to go. We tried to reason with them but they were in no mood to listen and the situation worsened as the day progressed,” said Board director Arti Saxena. People started inching closer to the doors and when the staff refused to open and admit students, they started pushing the doors. “A staff member went to reason with the angry crowd but some women caught him by his shirt and shook him so hard that he was still shaking when he came back inside after he had managed to somehow escape the crowd,” she added.

After sometime, when all was silent and the doors shut again, the crowd started getting restless. “We could hear some people instigating the others, when we looked out of the windows in our corridor the crowd started hurling abuses at us and tearing at their clothes in protest.”

University security around the area were called in quickly then but even they were heavily outnumbered and got pushed around. Thereafter, things got even more chaotic. The unruly crowd turned into a mob of sorts and began hurling stones, smashing whichever glass windows it could find. The police were finally called in and managed to calm the crowd to some extent but they still refused to go away.

Ms. Saxena further said: “Some of the candidates told the police that we were admitting students whom we wanted on the sly. They had seen some M.A. students coming into the building in the morning for their applications. When we told them this, they refused to believe us. The police suggested to some of the girls that they represent all the applicants and their parents and meet us in the office. The girls there then started accusing us of all sorts of things. One said she came within the first list but we had not admitted her because she did not have her original certificates and that she was entitled to admission now.”

The NCWEB offers B.A. Programme and B.Com and its classes are held on weekends. There is no special campus or classroom and the Board makes use of the classrooms that are allotted to them in different colleges in the university. “We have a sanctioned strength of 5,900 students and for them we have 18 classrooms requisitioned to us by the university. We also have a fixed number of teachers. The rules of admission that apply to colleges apply to us too. We are also given a specific time for admissions under each list and we cannot even turn away students who meet the cut-offs. Therefore, within the second list itself we admitted 6,058 students, a bit over our sanctioned strength. We simply cannot afford to admit any more students,” said Ms. Saxena. She said a complaint of “rioting” has been filed with the police by the NCWEB authorities.