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BHU on boil after proctor says 2017 protests sponsored

BHU chief proctor Royana Singh’s comments irked a section of students who began protesting soon after the video was shared widely on social media since last month.

Written by Sarah Hafeez | Varanasi | Updated: May 6, 2018 2:46:31 pm
bhu, banaras hindu university, 2017 bhu protest, bhu proctor, gender discrimination bhu, indian express Banaras Hindu University. (Express Photo by Anand Singh/File)

The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Saturday saw students protest against chief proctor Royana Singh. They claimed she had maligned last year’s protests against gender discrimination on campus by calling it “sponsored” and later lodged an attempt to murder case against students after they demanded an apology for her remarks.  In September 2017, students protested after the BHU administration allegedly shamed a student who claimed she was sexually harassed by three men on campus.

Speaking about the protests in an interview to Zee News, aired last month, Singh had said, “There was funding. A big vehicle had arrived with water, pizza and pepsi bottles. We saw this on video… When students protest they usually go hungry… but children were actually being properly sponsored and encouraged.”

However, a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “We saw students helping each other with juice and packets of food. But we did not see any truck full of pizza or cold drinks.”

Singh’s comments irked a section of students who began protesting soon after the video was shared widely on social media since last month. On Wednesday evening, around 25 of them attempted to meet Singh. “We wanted her to show us the footage of trucks full of pizza… If she could not, we wanted her to apologise,” said a student.

Protest in Banaras Hindu University. (Express Photo Anand Singh)

“She, however, refused to meet and made us wait for almost an hour. A student then tried opening her office door but accidentally broke a glass pane. We immediately apologised and later gave the police a written apology. But Royana Singh got a false case lodged against us.”

Based on Singh’s complaint, police said they lodged an FIR against 11 named and 12 unnamed people Thursday on charges of attempt to murder, dacoity, rioting and preventing public servant from discharging duty.

In the FIR, Singh alleged she heard students saying “she is the bigges nationalist, first hit her.” Chief proctor Singh did not respond to calls or text messages from The Sunday Express for comment.

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