Banaras Hindu University Vice Chancellor Questions Protests at Campus, Calls Sexual Harassment as ‘Simple Eve Teasing’ Case
Varanasi, Sept 24: As the atmosphere remains tense in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) following the crackdown on protesting students last night, the varsity has decided to call Dussehra breaks earlier this year. All classes would be official suspended from Monday, three days before the scheduled holidays begin.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the police to submit a detailed report of clash between the police and students, along with the molestation incident of Thursday which triggered the protests.
“I have sought a report from the Divisional Commissioner, Varanasi, about the entire incident,” the UP CM said in Lucknow today.
The violence escalated 0n Saturday night, after the police launched a crackdown on students protesting outside Vice Chancellor G C Tripathi’s residence.
The agitating students accused the police personnel of lathicharge on female protesters. The girls demonstrating outside V-C’s quarters were “canned, slapped and dragged by their hairs”, the students alleged.
The charges were rejected by BHU’s Public Relation Officer Rajesh Singh. According to the PRO, the genuine protesters backed off on Thursday, after the V-C assured impartial inquiry into the molestation case.
Singh claims that the protest was infiltrated by “anti-national and anarchic” forces, along with politically motivated students linked to Left’s AISA and Samajwadi Party’s student front.
The protesters have demanded the V-C to not only take action against the trio who allegedly molested the victim on varsity campus on Thursday, but also the teachers and administrative officials who “shamed” the victim after she tried to register her complaint with the Proctor.
According to the students, the professors, instead of inquiring into the matter, reprimanded the victim for moving out of the hostel after 6 PM.
The students, in their list of demands before the V-C’s office, demanded an “unconditional apology to the victim on behalf of the University”. They also sought gender sensitisation of all office-bearers in the varsity, deployment of guards and installation of lights in dark patches of the campus, apart from action against the alleged molesters.
Yogi Govt Faces Flak
Opposition was quick to target CM Yogi Adityanath for the alleged violent crackdown by police on protesting students. “The government should resolve the issue by talks, not by lathicharge. It is condemnable. Action should be taken against the guilty,” tweeted former CM Akhilesh Yadav.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also took aim at the BJP-led government in the state. “BJP version of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in BHU,” he said, in reference to the alleged brutal baton-charge on the female protesters.