Varanasi University (BHU) Goofed Up, Say Police In Early Report On Violence

Banaras Hindu University campus tense after police allegedly use batons on protesting students

Last week, violence erupted in the campus after some female students were allegedly molested by outsiders. Vice-Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi agrees to speak with the representatives of the students in his chamber, but the protestors refuse in the light of earlier instances where similar movements were neutralised by threat and suspension of leaders. He has accused the students who protested the incident as "those who are not committed to the nation" and has alleged that the molestation itself was a conspiracy to trigger a controversy ahead of the prime minister's visit. Reports say that after inquiry, two policemen and an officer have been removed.

PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have spoken with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the case.

Women students were also lathi-charged by the police, who allegedly tried to enter women's hostel. They have also alleged that to make it appear as if the girls were leaving the hostel of their own will, they were forced to send a letter seeking permission to go home.

"A committee has been constituted under the chief secretary".

Making no attempt to hide their target, one woman student told IANS that although BHU did not have a student union or any political groups, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) would conduct "Shakha" classes there every morning. "Now the same VC, after these protests is saying that few autocratic and anarchist elements which have come from outside are driving the moment", she said at the protest.

The governor described the incident as sad. "If any incident happens with a girl, they try to sort it out themselves rather than go and register a complaint".

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The vice-chancellor has been criticised for victim-shaming, the media outlet reported.

Adityanath left the state capital for his nearly weekly tour to his constituency Gorakhpur while opposition leader and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and state Congress Chief Raj Babbar heaped scorn at his administration's "inept" handling of the students unrest in the University. "The situation would not have taken a violent turn had the varsity authorities acted upon the complaint, " the report said.

"Unfortunately, the police stopped us from going to BHU, so we sat on dharna at the Singhdwar (in front of BHU main gate)", he said.

Meanwhile, BHU has issued a notice that the campus will stay shut till October 2 as a precautionary measure following the ongoing turmoil.

Several students even reached the Vice Chancellor's residence after he denied to meet them and speak to them about their demands. It all began when an undergraduate girl student of Visual Arts alleged molestation by three men on a motorcycle near Bharat Kala Bhawan while returning to her hostel in Triveni complex of BHU.

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