Mahendra Kumar Singh was appointed as the interim Chief Proctor of the Banaras Hindu University on Wednesday, 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.”
The District Magistrate has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the matter. A judicial inquiry under a retired high court judge was ordered by Vice-Chancellor Tripathi. The alleged molestation of the girl student is also being investigated by the police.
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.