BHU: Varanasi DC blames university and students for violence

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Image source: PTI

VARANASI: The demonstrations at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) against the ever increasing incidents of eve-teasing haven’t seemed to reach any conclusion. The university continued to remain on the boil as the students’ protest turned violent, police lathi-charged the protesters, drawing a sharp response from political leaders. Several political parties, including the Congress, have come out to support the students and condemn the Uttar Pradesh government’s response and the police crackdown on the students.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Girish Chandra Tripathi, has been summoned by the Ministry of Human Resources Development to Delhi and according to a The Times of India report, he departed for the national capital on Tuesday morning. While protesters claim that he has been summoned by the HRD ministry, the report quoted a university spokesperson as saying that quarterly meeting of the executive council of BHU was rescheduled and Tripathi has gone to attend the same.

The students of BHU have been protesting outside the vice-chancellor’s residence and several female students were injured when the police allegedly used force to remove them. The students reportedly wanted to meet Tripathi but were stopped by security guards.

The vice-chancellor claimed that the use of force was against criminals and not girl students, according to The Indian Express report.

The girl students of BHU feel that the campus is unsafe because of its poor lighting, lack of CCTVs and uncooperative security guards, according to The Hindu. Following the incident, the woman students submitted a memorandum to the Dean of Student Welfare. It states, “Boys come from outside and engage in objectionable acts… They pelt stones, and use filthy language while passing by.”

Government’s response

The Uttar Pradesh government removed three additional city magistrates and two policemen in connection with the baton-charge on students. Station officer of Lanka police station Rajiv Singh was removed and sent to police lines.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered an inquiry into the violence and sought a report from the Divisional Commissioner about the incident as well as on the lathicharge on journalists.

Varanasi divisional commissioner, Nitin Gokarn sent an interim report to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary on Tuesday. In the report, Gokarn blamed the university administration for the violence. “The BHU did not deal with the victim’s complaint properly. It is a sensitive matter. The situation was not handled on time by the university administration,”he said in the report, according to India Today.

Some journalists and girl students were injured in the police crackdown on Saturday and it led to protests in Lucknow, with some journalists staging a sit-in near the chief minister’s residence.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have spoken to Adityanath over the police action, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said, adding that the state government will find an appropriate solution to the issue.

He said the party was committed to ensuring dignity and respect of women and any opinion should not be formed on the basis of any isolated incident.

 

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