A POSTGRADUATE student at Banaras Hindu University’s faculty of arts was allegedly assaulted by a male classmate on Thursday. A second-year MA student was arrested after the woman, who had recently got married, got an FIR lodged against him.
“The student had come to BHU with her husband. The accused, Sheetla Sharan Gaur, allegedly slapped her in front of her husband,” Bhelpur police Circle Officer, Ayodhya Prasad Singh, said.
“The incident took place around 12 pm…. The accused was arrested in the evening,” said Lanka police Station Officer Sanjeev Mishra. He added that in her complaint, the woman has claimed that when the accused slapped her, her phone fell down and broke.
When contacted, Shradhha Singh, a professor and member of the BHU proctorial board, said: “The two knew each other. As the girl refused to speak to the student, he slapped her. She lodged a complaint with the proctorial board and we assisted her in approaching the police.”
She added that a case was registered at the Lanka police station under sections 354 B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and other related sections of the IPC.
The incident occurred even as the National Commission for Women’s acting chairperson Rekha Sharma visited the campus to speak to students, wardens and professors about the alleged molestation of a second-year student last month, and the police lathicharge unleashed on women student protesters in its aftermath. Sharma, who will be staying at BHU for two days, is also expected to speak to Vice-Chancellor G C Tripathi, who is on leave.
Meanwhile, psephologist and Swaraj Abhiyan president Yogendra Yadav was denied permission to enter BHU by a police team around 4.30 pm on Thursday. “While such a big crowd of policemen and policewomen have been deployed to stop an unarmed man like me… inside the campus, students are still being assaulted and molested. This is BHU,” he said.
Meeting students at the gates, Yadav lauded the women students for exposing “the truth in the face of consistent attempts at suppressing complaints of sexual harassment by faculty members and other male students”.