On January 10, 2016, a female student of IIT Madras (IITM) was
sexually assaulted by a male security guard in the institute’s campus. An
article published by the IITM students in The Fifth Estate, their in-house
magazine has brought to light the lapses in recruitment of security hired by
the institute.

PaGaLGuY spoke to CISS Ltd, the security agency for which the accused, Mustafa
Ahmad, was working. On the condition of anonymity, an official at CISS Ltd
said, “We have been providing IITM security for more than eight years, this is
the first time that an unfortunate incident like this has happened.” On being
confronted with facts that were revealed in the internal enquiry by students,
the official denied any wrongdoing on the agency’s part.

He further added, “To
avoid such untoward incidents in future, we have reinitiated background checks
of all our security personnel. Our top management has personally spoken to the
personnel emphasizing the importance of taking their job seriously.”

The requirement for IITM’s security
is met by outsourcing the job to external agencies. Out of about 200 security
personnel recruited from outside, 120 security guards belong to CISS Ltd.
Though, IITM has its own security employees, they are only at the managerial

The inquiry conducted by
students revealed that, according to the contract between IITM and CISS Ltd,
all security personnel on campus should be in the age group of 25 to 40 years.
However, the accused involved, Mustafa Ahmad is 20 years old, which is a breach
of the contract. Mustafa was assigned at IITM by the security agency two years

Another glaring lapse is the absence
of a proper identity card for security personnel. According to the Tamil Nadu
Private Security Agencies Rules 2008, every security guard on active duty is
supposed to wear and display an identity card. When the students inquired on
this front, they found that even Ahmad’s name was not clearly visible on his
identity card. This made it difficult for the victim to identify the

Such omissions should be avoided when
hiring services from outside the campus as security of students is a cause
of concern for colleges across the country.

The article published by IIT Madras students in The Fifth Estate can be accessed here.

Write Comment