BHU molestation case: Students lathicharged for protesting against victim shaming

Cheryl Sanders
September 24, 2017

The students alleged that the police thrashed them and pulled them through hair but the Varanasi district magistrate, who was present on the spot, denied the claims.

Students have been protesting against the university administration's alleged inaction and victim shaming after a first-year woman student reported an incident of molestation on Thursday.

Last night, the BHU issued a statement saying the "dharna" by the students just a day before Modi's visit was "politically motivated" to malign the image of the university.

Some policemen were also injured in the clashes during which students indulged in arson, police sources said.

On learning the response of the security personnel to the incident, students from the women's hostel made a decision to protest. Their protests coincided the visit by Prime Minister Narendra who visited his home constituency, Varanasi, on Saturday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought a report on Sunday from Divisional Commissioner about the incident as various political parties, including the Samajwadi Party, criticised the government and condemned the police action.

Police started lathicharge to control the situation. "It is condemnable. Action should be taken againt the guilty", Akhilesh tweeted. Later, when the student approached the guards along with her hostel mates, the guards allegedly responded with misogynist remarks and snubbed her for not being careful while moving alone in the dark. Male police personnel lathicharged the students of Mahila Mahavidyala.

"A lot of students arrived at the BHU's trauma centre and the situation is tense, but there are no major injuries", an official of BHU's hospital told the Hindustan Times.

The three men abused her and fled when she resisted their attempts, according to the complainant.

A large number of girl students came out of the hostel as the CPMF personnel left the campus.

Stating that the gates were closed from outside, she added, "Even after the whole incident, the VC did not come to talk to us.some are seriously injured".

On Saturday evening, the victim and a couple of other students met Vice-Chancellor G C Tripathi and gave him some demands, the university's PRO, Rajesh Singh, said. However, on Thursday, when the Prime Minister and his entourage were supposed to pass by the main gate of the university, their route was reportedly changed by his security officers.

Though, the complainant and the protesting girls have maintained that she was molested, the officials have referred to the incident as eve-teasing.

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