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BHU student says college mate slapped, dragged her by hair for not talking to him

The incident at the Banaras Hindu University comes days after an overnight police crackdown on students, mostly women, demonstrating against an alleged molestation on campus and demanding bringing the culprits to justice.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2017 22:29 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
BHU,Banaras Hindu University,BHU molestation
Students of Banaras Hindu University protest against the molestation of a student inside the campus, in Varanasi, last week. (PTI)

A student of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was arrested for allegedly dragging a fellow-student by her hair and assaulting her on Thursday, barely a fortnight after the century-old institute was rocked by protests over an incident of sexual abuse on campus.

The BHU administration also suspended the accused, identified as Sheetala Sharan Gond, a student of public administration who was said to be angry after the woman allegedly refused to talk to him.

The woman, a post-graduate student, lodged a police complaint after informing the university’s proctorial board, now headed by a woman.

“A four-member committee has been constituted to probe the incident,” , BHU spokesperson Rajesh Singh said. The panel will submit its report within 15 days.

Police said the woman alleged that Gond misbehaved with her, snatched her mobile and smashed it on the ground.

Gond allegedly followed her to the classroom where he slapped her in front of other students, police added.

The station officer of Lanka police station, Sanjiv Mishra, said a case has been registered.

The incident came on a day a team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) began a probe into the September 23 police baton-charge on women students who were demanding action over an alleged sexual harassment case.

The caning by male police personnel on protesting students had sparked nationwide outrage, and put the spotlight on lack of security for women at the sprawling campus in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.

The varsity reopened on Tuesday after an extended Dusherra holiday, announced a day after the violence on September 23.

NCW member Rekha Sharma recorded statements of several students and professors, including professor Pratima Gond who sustained injuries during the baton-charge. Sharma also met proctor Royana Singh.

Sharma, who is in Varanasi with two legal experts, said she would question the university vice chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi, who is currently on indefinite leave, about the cases.

“I am here for two days. But if he doesn’t appear before the commission, I will summon him (to Delhi),” Sharma, who also holds the additional charge of NCW chairperson, told HT.

Senior superintendent of police RK Bhardwaj apprised the NCW of the progress of the probe into the case of violence. He also briefed her about the investigations into the alleged sexual harassment.

Earlier, police had registered a case against 1,000 unidentified students in connection with the incident before handing over the probe to the crime branch which served notice to 13 students and seven members of the proctorial board.

A judicial committee headed by a retired judge of the Allahabad high court is also probing the incident.

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 19:48 IST