Updated: September 24, 2017 9:35:17 am
Hundreds of Benaras Hindu University students on Friday staged a day-long sit-in against the administration for “shaming” a first-year student who was allegedly molested. Varanasi police said this was the first protest in the university in recent times. Scores of students, especially boarders from BHU’s Triveni hostel, staged a sit-in at the main gate, protesting against the university administration and the hostel management. A first-year boarder from the hostel was allegedly touched inappropriately by three bike-borne men near the Kala Bhawan within the BHU campus on Thursday.
A boarder and student of the fine arts programme said on condition of anonymity: “When the student was molested last evening at 6, she shouted for help but the guards sitting there did not come forward or chase the bike. She went and complained to her warden and the chief proctor but they began shaming her.”
“They asked her why she was out so late. They told students that the hostel curfew timings will be shifted from 7 pm to 6 pm,” she added. The incident sparked a furore in the girls’ hostels, with students coming out to protest against the lack of safety on campus.
The Triveni hostel management and the university administration were unavailable for comment, with protesters swelling as the day progressed. By evening, some students had climbed the topmost spire of the BHU main gate and suspended a white flex with “Unsafe BHU” written and a pair of eyes with tears, etched on it in black.
“Heavy police presence is there at BHU to ensure law and order and an FIR has been registered against unknown persons,” a senior officer of Lanka police station said. The protest continued till late in the night. A circle officer, on condition of anonymity, said the police tried to resolve the issue the whole day, but four rounds of negotiations with the students failed.
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