Security guards on Wednesday allegedly manhandled Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members who were extending support to Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students observing a hunger strike against curtailment in the central library timings.
A rival section of students also attacked the AAP workers on the BHU campus. Two party members sustained serious head injuries and were admitted to the Shri Shiv Prasad Gupta Divisional Hospital at Kabir Chaura. Six others, including four women, were also injured.
A group of students also attacked photojournalists who were trying to capture the fracas. HT photojournalist Adarsh Gupta received scratches on his arms.
The trouble began at noon when two dozen party workers assembled at the BHU main gate to support the students demanding that the library function round-the-clock. Nine students were suspended in connection with the protests against the curtailment in library timings earlier this week.
“It was unfortunate that students were suspended on demanding extension of library timings. We were going to give an application to the vice-chancellor to reconsider the entire matter when security guards stopped us and started manhandling us,” said Mukesh Singh, district spokesperson for AAP.
“While a few guards were stopping us, others called students associated with the ABVP. They came and started beating us. They did not even spare the women and started abusing them,” said Singh.
The students chased the AAP workers out of the university and again beat them up at Lanka, he added.
Manish Gupt and Manish Pal were admitted to the divisional hospital while Sanjeev Singh and Kamlesh Dubey were prescribed medicines. Ranju Bala Singh, Anjana Singh, Mohasina Praveen and Mohini received injuries, Mukesh Singh told HT.
After the incident, the AAP members staged a demonstration in Lanka area of the city. Later, they went to the Lanka police station and lodged an FIR against the BHU administration, ABVP members and unidentified miscreants.
Chief proctor Satyendra Singh said: “Our guards only pushed the crowd to stop it from moving towards the restricted area. As far as involvement of students is concerned, there is no evidence that they were university students. If some miscreants entered the picture, what can be done? Our guards tried to stop them too.”