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Posted at: Sep 24, 2017, 11:29 AM; last updated: Sep 24, 2017, 6:18 PM (IST)

BHU molestation case: Protesting students lathicharged, 'dragged by hair'

CM Adityanath asks for report
BHU molestation case: Protesting students lathicharged, 'dragged by hair'
The students were protesting against the increasing incidents of eve-teasing inside the campus. ANI
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service
Lucknow, September 24

Several Banaras Hindu University students, including girls, were injured on Saturday night when Uttar Pradesh Police lathicharged them outside the Vice-Chancellor’s residence.

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The police from 18 neighbouring police stations jointly participated in the operation in which the police used tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge on the protesting students. The police also allegedly fired at the students who retaliated with brick batting.  

Local journalist, who were covering the midnight operation, alleged that male policemen did not even spare girl students.

The students alleged that the police thrashed them and dragged them by hair, but DM Varanasi, who was present on the spot, denied the claims.

Following the operation, an undeclared curfew-like situation prevails on the university campus. While the Dussehra break has been advanced by three days, the university has been shut till October 2. Vice-Chancellor G C Tripathi has warned of action against students if they do not vacate hostels by 5 pm on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the campus on Sunday turned into a fortress as girl students took out a peaceful march to protest against the police action.

BHU students have been protesting for the last few days against alleged molestation of a university student and the failure of the administration to act against motorcycle-borne men.

A large number of student protesters had been squatting in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s residence inside the campus and at one of the university gates for the last few days.

Due to the unrelenting students, the district administration had to change the route of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s entourage away from the BHU crossing.

A large number of students were injured, some of them critically, in the brutal police action hours after PM Modi left his constituency.

For two days, the entire administration was on VVIP duty as besides the Prime Minister, Governor Ram Naik, CM Yogi Adityanath and several Central and state ministers were present.

Besides local journalist, several journalists from Lucknow covering the PM’s Varanasi visit have also been injured in the attack.  

A large number of CRPC and PAC have been posted on the campus where a curfew-like situation prevails.

While no district-level official was available for reaction, a doctor admitted that many students were brought to the BHU’s trauma centre with injuries. Six policemen were also injured in the attack.

The protest started when a woman student of the Arts Faculty alleged that she was molested by three bike-borne men inside the campus as she returned to her hostel.

The three men abused her and fled when she resisted their attempts, she said.

The woman alleged that security guards, about 100 metres from where the incident happened, did nothing to stop the men.

She said her warden, instead of taking up the issue with her superiors, asked her why she was returning late to the hostel.

The warden’s response angered the other residents of the hostel, who sat on a ‘dharna’ at the main gate midnight Thursday.

One of the students even got her head tonsured.

The students said they have to face eve-teasers inside the campus regularly and the university administration was not taking any action to stop the miscreants.

The university has said it would advance its holidays — which was scheduled from September 28-October 2 — by four days starting Sunday.

Chief Minister Adityanath has demanded a report from the divisional commissioner over the incident, as opposition chorus grew condemning police action. 

Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi said that the Principal Secretary Home has spoken to district-level officers and the Varanasi District Magistrate had assured of proper investigation.

Criticism

Congress vice-president criticised the BJP of the violence.

"BJP version of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in BHU," Gandhi said in his tweet, evoking the NDA’s social campaign and attaching a video link of students who claimed that they were beaten up by male policemen at the campus.

Also in a tweet, former chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav criticised police action. “The government should find a solution through talks and not force”, he tweeted.  With agencies

 

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