Around 400 women students from the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) on Wednesday wrote to their vice-chancellor seeking relaxation in hostel timings, 24 hours library access and end to the alleged practice of intervening in personal matters in the name of security.
The students were from the Girls’ Degree College under the university in Varanasi. The memorandum was also addressed to the varsity’s Chief Proctor and hostel co-ordinator. The students want women’s hostels to remain open till 10 pm. Regarding hostels within the campus, they suggested that the main gate may be closed at 10 pm but the hostel should remain open.
The students also wrote that they expect the university to ensure equality within the campus. They pointed out that UGC rules did not allow discrimination in the name of security and had provision for an “independent body” against sexual abuse.
They pointed out that the team that had come to enquire into the recent incident of alleged harassment had told the National Commission for Women that “curfew timings” be lifted and that library be open for 24 hours. Chief Proctor Royana Singh said, “We are already in the process of taking views of girls from all the hostels before deciding on new rules… A group of girls from Women Girls College have given their memorandum, which would also be considered.”