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Police violence on campus: BHU to seek judicial probe, V-C denies lathicharge

Internal report says instance of sexual harassment sparked protests

By: Express News Service | Varanasi |
Updated: September 26, 2017 6:26:52 am
BHU, BHU violence, BHU campus violence, BHU sexual harassment case, Banaras Hindu University, Allahabad High Court, indian express news  SP student wing activists outside BHU on Monday. (Express Photo by Anand Singh)

BHU vice-chancellor G C Tripathi on Monday decided to get a judicial inquiry conducted into what had occurred on the university campus from September 21-23. The BHU chief proctor’s internal four-page report suggests that the assault on a girl student that sparked the protests was an instance of “eve-teasing”, something the VC also corroborated.

In a press release, the university administration said a retired justice of Allahabad High Court, V K Dixit, will conduct the inquiry. University spokesperson Rajesh Singh said the judicial inquiry will be for probing in the entire matter, including alleged incident of molestation of a girl student on September 21, the dharna in protest on September 22 and the alleged police violence on September 23.

In a separate statement, the V-C denied the reports of alleged lathicharge on girl students. It has been said in the statement that action was taken against those who were setting university properties on fire and were indulging in stone throwing and throwing petrol bombs. The BHU spokesperson also said that the university had not ordered any lathicharge on anyone and the action against rowdy elements was taken by the police and district administration. He also said that 65 sensitive places have been identified on campus where CCTV cameras would be installed.

A senior police officer in the Lanka police station said two days after the incident, an FIR under section 354 (molestation) against unknown persons had been lodged. The SHO of Lanka police station on Saturday said: “The student was walking back to her hostel on Thursday evening when a few bike-borne men rode up to her and touched her inappropriately.” He refused to divulge details. Senior police officers were unable for comment on Monday.

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An acquaintance of the victim, however, said the student was walking by Bharat Kala Bhawan on the main road of the BHU campus at around 6 PM on Thursday when a couple of bike borne men rode up to her. “She was returning from her faculty building to one of the womens’ hostels when the men sexually assaulted her…. She fell to the ground,” the acquaintance said.

Meanwhile, an FIR was lodged on Monday against 1,000 unidentified students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for allegedly attacking a police team and indulging in violence.

The Varanasi district administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into incidents of the past four days. The FIR against 1,000 students was lodged at Lanka police station on the basis of a complaint lodged by SO Rajeev Singh, who was removed and sent to Police Lines on Monday.

District Magistrate (Varanasi) Yogeshwar Ram Mishra, who ordered the magisterial inquiry, said, “Additional district magistrate (rural) has been handed over the inquiry and has been directed to look into all aspects and facts.” The students are facing charges under IPC sections 147, 353, 307, 332 and 336. Students will also face investigation under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

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First published on: 26-09-2017 at 06:26:01 am
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