Tension continues at BHU, campus shut till Oct 2

Doug Mendoza
September 25, 2017

The Banaras Hindu University on Sunday suspended its academic session and advanced its mid-semester break for Dussehra hours after police forces lathi charged protesters, majority women students sitting on a dharna against the alleged inaction and victim-blaming of a fine arts student who was molested on the campus on Thursday.

As the videos of cops beating the girls went viral on the social networking sites triggering all-round condemnation, chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed the Varanasi district administration to investigate the matter and submit a report, sources here said. Some policemen were also injured in the clashes during which students indulged in arson, police sources said.

A female student leading the protest told the Times of India that when the girl who faced harassment reported the incident to the proctorial board's security personnel they asked why she was out of the hostel after sunset, instead of helping her. The university also said that security guards were regularly patrolling the campus and assistance from the police is sought from time to time to maintain peace on the campus. However, authorities said that outsiders have joined the students and they are trying to foment trouble. Police used lathicharge to control the situation.

"I have sought a report from the divisional commissioner, Varanasi, about the entire incident", Adityanath said in Lucknow.

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The students of Mahila Mahavidyala of the Banaras Hindu University, which is on the boil for three days, led the "silent protest march" seeking safety of girls inside the campus. "It is condemnable. Action should be taken against the guilty". These girls were protesting against the shaming of one of their fellow students, who was molested by three bike-borne men. The university campus has become a police encampment with a large contingent of Provincial Armed Constabulary deployed there.

BHU students have alleged they have to face eve-teasers on the campus regularly and the varsity administration was not taking any action to stop the miscreants.

A woman was allegedly sexually harassed by two men outside her hostel at around 6 pm on September 21. The student has also alleged that when she informed the incident to the hostel warden, her character was also questioned.

The response by the angered the university students, who later sat on "dhrana" at main gate from Thursday midnight. The student initially had complaints with the University, but now that is not the case.

Other reports by GizPress

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