Live: BHU Registrar Neeraj Tripathi Appointed As Interim VC

The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has been embroiled in controversy over the lathicharge on students on 23 September. The incident occurred when students were protesting inaction over an alleged molestation of a fellow student.

VC Girish Chandra Tripathi has drawn flak for the violence that unfolded at the gates of the varsity. The NHRC has sought a detailed report on the incident from UP’s Chief Secretary, the DGP, and the VC within four weeks. The UP government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence. A magisterial investigation in the matter be carried out under a retired High Court judge.

Watch this space for live updates on the BHU incident.

  • BHU registrar Neeraj Tripathi has been appointed interim vice-chancellor after current incumbent Girish Chandra Tripathi went on indefinite leave
  • BHU Chief Proctor ON Singh resigns
  • Retired HC judge VK Dikshit to head panel formed to probe BHU violence
  • UP government orders magisterial probe into the violence
  • FIR lodged against 1,000 BHU students; Several told to vacate hostels
  • Protesting students were injured in a lathicharge by the police outside the BHU campus on Saturday night
  • The demonstrators were protesting an alleged case of molestation of a BHU student

BHU Registrar Neeraj Tripathi has been appointed as Interim Vice-Chancellor, after Girish Tripathi went on indefinite leave.

Girish , who is scheduled to retire on 30 November, went on leave on 2 October, citing personal reasons.

BHU registrar Neeraj Tripathi is set to be the officiating vice-chancellor after current incumbent Girish Chandra Tripathi went on indefinite leave, two months before the end of his tenure. Tripathi, who is scheduled to retire on 30 November, went on leave on Monday citing personal reasons.

According to sources,Tripathi has handed over the reigns to the registrar, who will hold the additional responsibility till a new vice-chancellor is appointed.

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters on Tuesday that the university has received Tripathi’s application and has confirmed that he is on indefinite leave.

According to the BHU Act, if the university head goes on leave, the Rector will act as the head and in the Rector's absence, the varsity Registrar will assume charge as vice- chancellor.

Ten days after the lathicharge on students, the vice-chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University Girish Chandra Tripathi has gone on leave citing person reasons, said PTI quoting reporters.The development comes amid him coming under radar of the central government who was upset with the manner in which he handled the protest at BHU campus.

The BHU on Thursday appointed its first woman chief proctor after her predecessor resigned taking moral responsibility for the recent violence on the campus.

The appointment was approved by Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi following the resignation of ON Singh.

“Royana Singh, an assistant professor at the Institute of Medical Science (Anatomy Department), has been appointed as the Chief Proctor. She is the first woman in varsity's history to hold the post and also heads the women grievance cell of the university,” a senior Banaras Hindu University (BHU) official said.

The HRD Ministry is planning to constitute a search and election committee to appoint BHU’s next vice chancellor, said an Indian Express report.

Current VC Girish Chandra Tripathi has faced serious flak after students were mishandled during a protest and for his comments on security within the campus.

A ministry source told IE that six names will be sent to Rashtrapati Bhavan from which the President will appoint three nominees to the search and selection committee.

The report further said that senior government officials feel that Tripathi should go on a leave “to ensure that the situation is defused at the earliest”.

The FIR filed by the molestation victim has revealed shocking details of the incident where the student was groped by unknown men riding a motorcycle on 21 September.

Victim’s statement in FIRI was near Bharat Kala Bhawan at 6.20pm. I was wearing salwar suit. Suddenly, two motorcycle-borne youths came and inserted their hands inside my suit. They then sped away. Due to fading light, I could not recognise the registration numbers.

Times of India reported that in the FIR the victim alleged that the guards on the campus, instead of helping her, questioned why she was out of the hostel at 6 pm.

Violence could have been averted if the BHU administration held a “timely” and a “proper” communication with the protesting girl students, said a high-level probe report.

Times of India reported that the report was filed by Varanasi’s Divisional Commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarn and ADG Varanasi zone Vishwajit Mohapatra.

Amid multiple probes ordered by the UP government, BHU's Chief Proctor ON Singh resigned from his position late on 26 September. Singh said he was taking “moral responsibility” for the violence that erupted when students were protesting an alleged molestation on 23 September.

His resignation, submitted to Vice Chancellor GC Tripathi, was accepted, reported ANI.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo motu cognisance of media reports about the alleged inaction by authorities of BHU into a complaint of sexual harassment.

It has issued notices to the UP Chief Secretary, the Director General of Police, and BHU VC calling for a detailed report into the matter. A response is expected within four weeks, it said.

Also Read: BHU Vice Chancellor Says Girls Feeling Unsafe on Campus a ‘Rumour’

An inquiry has been ordered into the violence in BHU, the vice chancellor and the Uttar Pradesh government said.

While BHU Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi said he had ordered an inquiry headed by a retired high court judge, state government spokesperson and minister Srikant Sharma maintained it was a magisterial probe. It was not clear whether there was one inquiry or two.

BHU VC to PTI I have ordered an inquiry into the incident. Retired Allahabad High Court judge B S Dixit will head the panel.

“The BHU authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incidents,” Sharma said.

Earlier, speaking to reporters after a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow, he had said a "judicial inquiry" had been ordered.

Also Read: Watch: Women Not Safe On BHU Campus, Say Protesting Students

Responding to the baton-charging by the UP police of student demonstrators at BHU, Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India, said:

University authorities must not turn a blind eye to allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Students have a right to peaceful protest. The police say that some of the students threw stones at them, but that cannot be an excuse to baton-charge the women students who were staging a peaceful sit-in.

“The police have now registered over a thousand criminal cases against students, but not one against any of the officials who used unnecessary or excessive force. Both university authorities and the Uttar Pradesh police have showed a shameful abdication of their duty to respect and protect the rights of students at BHU,” she added.

Also Read: Even We Aren’t Safe in BHU, All are Scared of the Boys: Woman Prof

Protests condemning the lathi-charge on BHU students were held at Jantar Mantar on 25 September.

The RSS’ student wing, the ABVP, were forcefully evicted by police outside Shastri Bhawan in Delhi after they staged a protest.

SSP office in Varanasi confirmed the FIR against 1,000 BHU students in Lanka police station for arson and other charges.

Watch BHU students recount how a peaceful protest turned violent on 23 September.

The Uttar Pradesh government, on 25 September, removed three additional city magistrates and two policemen in connection with the baton-charge on students in the Banaras Hindu University during a protest over an alleged incident of sexual harassment.

Station Officer of Lanka Police Station, Rajiv Singh, has been removed and sent to police lines. Station officer of Jaitpura Police Station, Sanjiv Mishra, has been posted in his place, police officials said.

The Circle Officer of Bhelupur, Nivesh Katiyar, has been removed and replaced with Circle Officer of Kotwali Ayodhya, Prasad Singh.

A release from Varanasi's District Information office said three additional city magistrates, Manoj Kumar Singh, Sushil Kumar Gaund and Jagdamma Prasad Singh, have also been removed.

The protest forced the university to advance the Dussehra break by three days on 25 September.

Housekeepers of Triveni Hostel have asked the students to leave by 4:00 pm on 24 September, and not return till 2 October.

#BHU ground update
Protests have died down, classes suspended, most students have left but strong police presence continues. @TheQuint

— Aishwarya S Iyer (@iyersaishwarya) September 25, 2017

All hostel gates have been closed and only those who want to 'leave for home' are being allowed to leave. Birla hostel, Rajaram hostel and Srimati Mona Devi hostel – for boys – were completely vacated by end of Sunday.

Late on 23 September, a protest at the Banaras Hindu University, against the alleged molestation of a student inside the campus turned violent as police lathi-charged protesting students.

The violence broke out barely hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his two-day visit to his constituency of Varanasi.

A student, who was witness to the lathi-charge and violence on the campus, spoke to The Quint.

Eyewitnesses account on Lathicharge & violence in BHU. #bhu_molestation #BHU @TheQuint "They pulled a girl out and 5-6 policemen hit her."

— Aishwarya S Iyer (@iyersaishwarya) September 24, 2017

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