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Benaras Hindu University (BHU) Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi said that violence on the intervening night of 23 and 24 September was a ‘conspiracy’ hatched by ‘anti-social elements’.
According to media reports, Tripathi said, the ‘eve-teasing’ incident was ‘staged’ a day before the planned visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said, since he has taken charge of the university, he has been treating the students, BHU faculty members like family and added that anti-social elements are inciting violence on the campus.
In a press statement issued late on Monday, Tripathi defended the police action and said, “There was no baton-charge on any girl on the varsity premises during the intervening night of September 23 and 24. Action has been taken against criminal and anti-social elements who (vandalised) the varsity property.”
Earlier, three additional city magistrates of Varanasi and two police officers were on Monday removed in connection with the lathi-charge on students in the Banaras Hindu University and a high-level probe was ordered into the incident that has spiralled into a major controversy.
Clashes between students and police officials broke out at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on the night of 23 September, after police lathi-charged the protesters.
Several students were injured in the clashes, who were protesting against alleged molestation of a university girl and the failure of the administration to act against the attackers, reports said.
Women students were also lathi-charged by the police, who allegedly tried to enter women’s hostel.
The protests began on 21 September after a resident of a women’s hostel was allegedly molested by bike-borne men inside the campus.
The student lodged a complaint with the office of the proctor, which is responsible for campus security but the chief proctor refused to take action and some officials allegedly tried to blame the student, sources said.
Angry students had launched a protest, demanding action against the men who attacked the girl.
Opposition leaders have criticised the action taken by the police and the lackadaisical attitude of Uttar Pradesh government in handling the student protest.
(With agency inputs)