A FINAL-YEAR MCA student at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi was shot dead allegedly by four bike-borne persons on the varsity campus on Tuesday night. BHU’s chief proctor Royana Singh has been named in the murder case on conspiracy charges and four suspects were arrested. Police said they are investigating the alleged role of Royana Singh in the case. Royana Singh, however, denied the allegations against her.
The victim’s father, Rakesh Prasad Singh, alleged in his complaint, “On April 2, my son Gaurav Kumar, an MCA student, was at Birla A hostel intersection with his friends. Around 7 pm, university students Ashutosh Tripathi, Rupesh Tiwari, Kumar Mangalam, Vinay Dwivedi and two-three unidentified others came on two motorcycles. As the fallout of an old enmity, they fired at Gaurav with intent to kill and escaped, leaving him critically injured. Chief proctor Royana Singh was also part of the conspiracy behind the attack.”
He added, “He was taken to the BHU trauma centre by students present at the spot. I too reached the trauma centre and before he died, Gaurav told me about the people involved in the attack on him.”Gaurav had suffered three-four gunshot injuries on the stomach, sources said.
Varanasi SSP Sureshrao A Kulkarni said the victim’s father is employed at the BHU printing press. He has alleged that the assailants met Royana Singh before the attack and she was the one who hatched the murder conspiracy, added the SSP.
“Gaurav had three criminal cases pending against him related to rioting, arson and violence on the campus. There was rivalry between group of students of Birla A hostel including Gaurav and a group of students, including those arrested, belonging to Birla C hostel. The victim’s father has alleged that Royana always favoured and supported the rival group. So far, we do not have any evidence supporting the allegations that the assailants met Royana before the crime. A probe is on,” said the SSP.
About the possible “trigger point” of the crime, the SSP said around 40 days ago there was a clash between the two groups followed by two cross-FIRs and recently, there was a verbal duel between them.
Circle Officer (CO) of Bhelupur area, Anil Kumar said Gaurav was named in the 2017 violence on the university campus and was also jailed. He added that this was the third case registered against Royana Singh since she took over as chief proctor.
Talking to The Indian Express, Royana Singh denied the allegations of murder conspiracy and claimed that “all this has been fabricated by an ex-student of the university who is part of Gaurav’s group.” She also claimed that she was in Delhi at the time of the incident.