After last week’s protests and violence over the alleged sexual harassment of a girl student, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Thursday appointed Professor Royana Singh of the Anatomy department as its new chief proctor, the first woman to be appointed to the post.
Singh, who is also the chairperson of the university’s women grievance cell, said she was away from the campus when voilence broke out and has zero tolerance towards “eve-teasing”.
On allegations of gender discrimination in the campus, Sindh said female students are allowed to wear clothes and eat food of their choice.
“We’re ashamed that students’ faith in us is shaken. We’re takng measures, increasing interaction with students,” she said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mahendra Kumar Singh was appointed as the interim chief proctor of the university, a day after ON Singh resigned taking “moral responsibility” for the recent incidents of alleged molestation of a student and violence on campus.
While the administration has targeted the university for not taking up student issues, the varsity faculty questioned the alleged forced entry of police into hostels and beating of staff members and students on Saturday night.
An internal four-page report by the former chief proctor and the university vice-chancellor Dr Girish Chandra Tripathi had called the alleged act of molestation an incident of ‘eve-teasing.’ “The student was walking back to her hostel on Thursday evening when a few motorcycle-borne men came near her and touched her inappropriately,” the SHO of Lanka police station told the Indian Express.
However, an acquaintance of the victim had this to say: “She was on her way to one of the hostels when the men sexually assaulted her. They pulled her hair and one of the men put his hand in her kurta, while another put his hand in her leggings. She fell and the men sped off.”
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the incidents at BHU smacked of a ‘conspiracy’ as prima facie reports suggested the role of anti-social elements in the incident. He told the media that the administration has been asked to get to the bottom of the matter without harassing any students. “The report (on BHU incidents) has been received and administration has been clearly told not to harass any student but get to the bottom of this issue and find details of anti-social elements who vitiated the atmosphere (in the university) in the garb of students,” he said.