Protests bring BHU to a standstill

Adithya Narayan

VARANASI, September 26: The Benares Hindu University (BHU) has decided to break four days in advance for the Dussera holidays in the wake of protests by its students.

The protests broke out four days ago when three men on a motorcycle molested a student who was on her way back to the hostel. The protests intensified after the students alleged that the BHU authorities did not act against the culprits.

The Uttar Pradesh (UP) state government on Monday removed three additional city magistrates and two police officers over negligence of duty and also ordered a high level probe into the incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah spoke to the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the incident on the sidelines of the party’s national executive meet.

Meanwhile the Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders thronged  the institute on Monday with the police detaining over thousands of protesters that included members of both parties.

How it happened :-

  • On Thursday, 3 men on a motorbike molest a student of the Bachelor of Fine Arts course of the Mahila Mahavidyalaya of the BHU while on her way back to the hostel.
  • The security guards who were just about 100 metres from the incident do nothing and the warden instead of taking up the issue asks the student what she was doing staying out so late.
  • Warden’s response agitates the students who then go on a sit-in protest at the main gate on Thursday midnight.
  • The students stage a 13-hour demonstration on Friday at the Lanka Gate of the BHU campus when PM Modi was in Varanasi.
  • The Vice Chancellor(VC) Girish Chandra Tripathi calls ten girls to his chamber for a meeting but the girls insist on the VC coming to the venue of protests and addressing them collectively.
  • Police resort to lathicharge on Saturday to disperse the protesters as a result of which a number of protesters including women and two journalists are injured.
  • On Sunday, the girls are joined by some boys while staging a silent march from the hostels to the Lanka gate of BHU but are again chased by lathi-wielding policemen.
  • The college breaks for holidays in advance and remain closed till October 2. FIRs are registered in the names of unidentified policemen and over thousands of students.

 

The demands of the protesting students were round-the-clock security, making security officials responsible for untoward incidents towards girls, proper lighting on roads leading to hostels, a CCTV network, checks at all entry gates, recruitment of women security personnel and a gender senstisation committee. If entry for outsiders into BHU campus, which has a hospital that caters to the medical needs of people from eastern UP and parts of Bihar cannot be restricted, the students claim that the authorities should be ready to at least address their complaints.

The cause for the clash according to various sources were :-

The VC also went ahead and named two men-Sunil Yadav and Sanjeev Singh-who were seen addressing the gathering. He also added “Girls associated with a particular organisation from Delhi University and Allahabad University instigated the BHU girls for the demonstration. They were part of the dharna at the BHU gates. Among the demonstrators, there were only a few BHU girls.” Tripathi also said that the administration had formed a committee to investigate the unrest.

The VC went ahead and said it was a “simple case of eve-teasing” and “the whole incident was deliberately staged.”

The opposition taunted the BJP with its own slogan.

 

 

 

 

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