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BHU clashes: From the university to the opposition, who said what

Violence erupted after the protesting students demanded to meet the BHU vice chancellor at his residence on Saturday.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2017 11:13 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Varanasi
BHU students and police in a standoff in Varanasi late on Saturday night.
BHU students and police in a standoff in Varanasi late on Saturday night. (PTI Photo)

Banaras Hindu University remained tense after a number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a lathi-charge by police in the campus after a protest on Saturday against an alleged molestation case turned violent.

A female student at the Arts Faculty was allegedly harassed by three motorcycle-borne men inside the campus while she was returning to her hostel on Thursday, triggering the protest.

Violence erupted after the protesting students demanded to meet the varsity’s vice chancellor at his residence on Saturday.

From the university to students and politicians, here’s a look at who said what:

BHU

The university said some students wanted to “forcibly” enter the V-C’s residence but they were stopped by BHU security guards. Subsequently, there was stone-pelting by “outsiders” who joined the students, a spokesperson said.

A statement by the university also said the “dharna” by the students a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Varanasi was “politically motivated” to malign the image of the university.

Clashes between the students and police at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Vice-chancellor

BHU vice-chancellor GC Tripathi told ANI campus safety is important, adding that some “anti-social elements” were trying to spoil the college environment.

“An unfortunate incident took place with one of our students. We are committed to stringent action and did so too. The student initially had complaints with the university, but now that is not the case. Some complained about installation of CCTVs, which is under process. Some girls said the university should be more sensitive towards safety.”

Varanasi Police

Varansi police commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarn said the campus was normal on Sunday. He refuted any links between PM Modi’s visit to Varanasi and the violence during the protest.

“There are chances that outsiders might have come and used the matter within the university (to create violence),” Gokarn said, adding that an investigation will be conducted.

CM Yogi Adityanath

Chief minister Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath on Sunday sought a report from the divisional commissioner about the incident.

“I have sought a report from the divisional commissioner, Varanasi, about the entire incident,” Adityanath said in Lucknow.

Police deployed at the Banaras Hindu University. (PTI Photo)

Opposition attack

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday slammed the BJP for the lathi-charge by police on female students, saying it was the saffron party’s version of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”.

After the incident, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “Only a barbaric govt unleashes male police with lathis on women students. Why is BJP-RSS so scared of students?”

Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, who has fallen out with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar after the party allied with the BJP, said the incident was “intolerable in a democracy” and a violation of freedom of expression and speech.

“We will raise the issue in Parliament... It is intolerable in a democracy and the government should apologise,” Yadav said in a statement.

Former UP chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “The government should resolve the issue by talks, not by lathi-charge. It is condemnable. Action should be taken against the guilty.”