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BHU students protest in Delhi, demand VC’s ouster

IANS | New Delhi |

Students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) staged a sit-in here on Tuesday demanding resignation of BHU Vice Chancellor G.C. Tripathi.

Students from the Punjab University, Delhi University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University also joined the protest, along with other student group members.

The protesters accused Tripathi of being anti-women, alleging that he did not bother to take any action even when a student was molested inside the campus.

“We want his removal from the post. We want CCTV cameras installed on the campus and proper lighting at certain places,” Shantanu, a BHU student, told IANS.

He said that the Saturday’s police action was preceded by a similar baton-wielding the same day by the “internal security guards”, resulting from a proctorial order to disperse the crowd.

“They used the alibi of turbulence that followed after the security guards’ attack on us, to tell police a completely fabricated story of petrol bombs being used by the ‘outside elements’,” Shantanu said.

The police action by a large number of its personnel was the result of a protest being staged outside the VC’s office. At least two women students were reported injured in the lathi-charge.

Hundreds of women students of the university were forced to protest outside the VC’s office when, they alleged, the authorities refused to take any action in an incident of molestation which occurred on the campus on September 21.

The students also accused their VC of using media selectively to spread an articulated version favouring the administration.

When asked why the victim did not approach the internal complaints committee against sexual harassment mandated at all universities, Shantanu told IANS that BHU’s committee is “all male” and they are wont to “victim blaming just like the rest”.

Making no attempt to conceal their target, one woman student told IANS that although BHU did not have a student union or any political groups, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) would conduct “Shakha” classes there every morning.

Since the fracas, the entire campus has been shut down and hostellers have left for their homes.

The Uttar Pradesh government has asked for a detailed report in the matter from the BHU administration.