Manipal gang-rape makes students more cautious, auto drivers face loss

Sheeja Moodubelle
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi

Udupi, Jun 29: Following the Manipal gang rape, the mindset of the students with regard to safety has changed tremendously and they now prefer to travel in a group of known people rather than risk travelling alone in an auto rickshaw.

Suneedhi, a KMC student speaking to Daijiworld, said that this particular incident has shocked her and her friends and now all the students prefer go out in groups.

"We never expected such incidents to occur in Manipal because it is a very secure place. If we can’t get security here, where else do we go?" she asks.

Another student criticized the government and said that the authorities should come up with strict regulations to punish the culprits without any mercy.

A nursing student said that the security systems are good, but ever since this tragedy has occurred the risk has increased, especially for girls.

"We are praying for the victim as she is one of us. Auto drivers are protesting here, we don’t understand why; they do not have the right to do so because one among them has committed this brutal assault,” she said.

Sources said that after this incident, many female students have been questioned for various reasons and no one is aware of the purpose. But they in turn prevent the media from questioning.

"No local people must be allowed on the campus. A campus card is a must to enter the library for students, but most of them don’t use it. Security should be tightened by the management and police. Cameras should not only be placed inside the campus but outside too to bring in better security," said some students.

"The auto drivers’ versions seems acutely wrong as they said no driver from Manipal stand would do anything like this. The auto drivers claim that they help girls in need, but this incident has proved otherwise," said one student.

On the other hand, the auto drivers too are indignant. They are incurring losses as they do not get enough of trip fares especially during their night shifts.

"Just because of some horrible men who have committed this crime, we are also being questioned. Blaming the innocent is not right. We are all committed to our jobs. We cooperated fully with the police although they kept innocent people in jail for one night," retorted the auto drivers.

Some drivers said, "We don’t get many trips now but we can't says whether this is because the colleges hostels of MIT, MIC and others are shut down for holidays or because of the incident.”

"Another fact which kills students is their addiction to drugs.  Police keep arresting the members of the drug mafia who sell the brown sugar and ‘ganja’ but the search for the peddlers does not last long. The media and the public tend to forget these issues once the hype is over. Manipal is a center for drug supplies. Including the police force, all are aware of it but do nothing about it. To capture the mafia members is not possible because the students belong to rich families and have connections with the higher authorities. The police ignore the petty incidents which later become a big problem. From the past decade, the drug network has reached great heights and the judicial loopholes add more chaos,” they said.

One of the students also said, "We are not born with bad habits but we have our own problems and we feel drugs are the supplement to our happiness. Drugs keep us good company while we are alone."