Protests, tension at BHU day after student killed
The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was closed on Wednesday for a day amid tensions a day after unidentified motorcycle-borne men shot dead a 25-year-old suspended student on the campus, police and varsity officials said.
Gaurav Singh’s murder triggered protests on the campus. A group of students staged a sit-in at BHU’s main gate demanding the immediate arrest of the seven people, including the university’s chief proctor, Royana Singh, who have been named for the murder.
Varanasi’s Lanka police station in charge, Bharat Bhushan Tiwari, said Gaurav Singh’s father, Rakesh Prasad Singh, who is an employee of the BHU, has named Royana Singh in his complaint along with four students — Ashutosh Tripathi, Rupesh Tiwari, Mangalam, Vinay Dwivedi. Three other accused have not been identified in the complaint.
Tiwari said Rakesh Prasad Singh has alleged that Royana Singh hatched a conspiracy to kill his son “because of an old dispute” and claimed the seven people fired indiscriminately on his son.
Royana Singh rejected the charges. “The allegations against me are false and baseless. I have no idea why such charges have been levelled against me,” she said. She added strict action should be ensured against those involved in the murder.
The students said they would continue their agitation until all the accused were arrested.
BHU’s public relations officer, Rajesh Singh, said the decision to close the university was taken at a late-night meeting at the residence of vice-chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar. He said Gaurav Singh was under suspension since December 2017 for allegedly setting afire a bus in protest against a student leader.
Gaurav, a second-year Master of Computer Applications student, was shot dead as he was talking to his friends late on Tuesday evening.
Tiwari said Gaurav suffered bullet injuries in stomach and chest and was rushed to the trauma centre of BHU’s Institute of Medical Sciences.
He underwent surgery for the removal of bullets but succumbed to injuries during treatment, he added.
His body was cremated at Varanasi’s Harishchandra Ghat amid heavy police presence after a post-mortem examination.
Police said Ashutosh Tripathi, Rupesh Tiwari, Mangalam, Vinay Dwivedi have been taken into custody for questioning in connection with the murder.