Banaras Hindu University campus remained witness to mayhem all throughout Saturday night as girls protesting shaming of one of their fellow students were lathi-charged allegedly at the behest of the Vice Chancellor.
Girls on the campus have been staging protests since Friday when a student was molested by a group of bike-borne male students, who inappropriately touched her. However, far from taking actions, the university administration allegedly shamed the victim for being out so late in the evening.
“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,” a fellow boarder on the campus told Indian Express.
This sparked off instant protests, particularly by the boarders of Triveni hostel, who staged a sit-ins on the campus. Their protests coincided the visit by Prime Minister Narendra who visited his home constituency, Varanasi, on Saturday.
By Saturday a heavy police forced was deployed on the campus to ensure there was no deterioration in law and order situation. By Saturday evening, students alleged, the police crackdown began leading to lathicharge that left many students and even one female professor injured (watch video below).
A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in the lathicharge by the police. Some policemen were also injured in the clashes during which students indulged in arson, police sources said.
Violence erupted after some students, protesting against the alleged eve-teasing incident of Thursday, wanted to meet the Vice Chancellor at his residence last night, according to police and university sources.
The security guards of the university stopped them and the police was informed, according to the University sources.
BHU spokesperson said some students wanted to “forcibly” enter the VC’s residence but they were stopped by the security guards of the university.
The latest incident comes a year after we first reported how girls on the campus had complained of rampant misogyny. In a special report, Hasiba Amin had written, “Girls are being treated as second class citizens. Girls who enroll into the university have to get an undertaking signed from their parents that they will not participate in any form of protest or the like and if caught doing so they will be removed from the hostel.
“While boys hostel has both veg and non-veg food, the girls’ hostel has only veg food because apparently it is against ‘Malviya Mulya’. Girls are not allowed to wear what they want to and have to report in their hostel latest by 8 pm while the boys’ hostel has no curfew time. If a girl is caught talking on her phone (even to her parents) after 10 pm by the warden or housekeeper, the phone gets confiscated and is returned only after their parents are informed about it. If a girl is seen with any boy, she is handed over to the proctor for ‘maligning the cultural and traditional values of our country’.”
Meanwhile social media users have condemned both the state and central governments for the brutal crackdown of police against the university’s girl students at the stroke of midnight.
Users have been posting disturbing videos of injured students while crriticising the governments for their alleged brutality.
Here are some examples;
— Muzzammil Hamidani (@MuzzammilAap) September 24, 2017
— Vikas Yogi (@vikaskyogi) September 23, 2017
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) September 23, 2017
— Neelesh Misra (@neeleshmisra) September 23, 2017