BHU row: NCW blames V-C Tripathi for Sept 23 violence on campus
The university was swamped with massive protests on September 23 after a woman claimed she was sexually harassed on campus. Police caned women to disperse them, prompting widespread condemnation and a judicial probe.india Updated: Oct 06, 2017 17:30 IST
The National Commission for Women (NCW) blamed the vice chancellor of Banaras Hindu University on Friday for violence on campus last month that left women students injured during a protest against sexual harassment.
A three-member committee said the university administration didn’t take the sexual harassment complaint seriously and accused vice chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi of not talking to the protesters, who were caned by police during the demonstration on September 23.
“Lack of dialogue on part of BHU VC (with the girls) is responsible for the violence on the campus. Girls were staging a protest near BHU gate against sexual harassment. They demanded that VC should visit the spot and hear them. If the VC had done that the situation would have diffused,” said NCW member Rekha Sharma.
Sharma claimed she called up the vice chancellor but that he didn’t respond to her call or message. “The VC will be summoned for interrogation,” she added.
A woman student at BHU, one of India’s largest universities, was allegedly sexually harassed on her way to the hostel on the evening of September 21, triggering waves of fury in the campus. The university was swamped with massive protests on September 23 before police caned women to disperse them, prompting widespread condemnation and a judicial probe.
Tripathi is on leave and the registrar of the university is the acting vice chancellor.
The police registered a case against 1,000 unidentified students before handing over the probe to the crime branch which served notice to 13 students and seven members of the proctorial board.
A two-member UP government panel had also blamed the BHU administration for improper handling of the victim’s complaint.
The NCW commission will submit its report in a week but said initial probe had revealed male police personnel caned the girls. Sharma said some people from outside the varsity had also participated in the protest.
Sharma added that she came to know from women students some instances of gender discrimination on the campus and had suggested corrective measures to the university administration.