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BHU violence: V-C questions commissioner’s probe report blaming admin

V-C Tripathi expressed surprise over the 40-page report by the two-member committee, questioning how the matter could have been investigated in a few hours.

lucknow Updated: Sep 27, 2017 17:53 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
BHU,BHU violence,BHU VC
BHU vice chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi after a meeting in New Delhi on September 26, 2017.(PTI Photo)

Banaras Hindu University vice-chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi on Wednesday questioned the report of the probe panel headed by Varanasi divisional commissioner that blamed the varsity administration for not handling last weekend’s violence on the campus in a sensitive manner.

Students, mostly women, were cane-charged on Saturday night while they were protesting the university’s alleged inaction over a reported molestation on the campus last Thursday. The police crackdown triggered a nationwide condemnation and several political parties hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party government for the brutal action.

Tripathi expressed surprised over the 40-page report by the two-member committee, comprising divisional commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarn and additional director general of police Vishwajeet Mahapatra.

“I don’t want to comment on the report as I haven’t seen it. But is it possible to examine each and every fact related to such a serious incident within a few hours? He began the probe in the morning and submitted his report by late evening,” Tripathi told the Hindustan Times.

Tripathi said the judicial committee, headed by retired judge of Allahabad high court justice VK Dikshit, tasked with probing the campus violence will bring forth the truth. He said the committee will decide the duration of the probe.

Tripathi had earlier denied that police baton-charged women students and said they only used force to drive away anti-social elements, who hurled stones and vandalised the campus. He also dubbed the incident of sexual harassment as part of a larger conspiracy to instigate women students against him.

When HT contacted divisional commissioner Gokarn, he refused to comment on the report.

“The report is confidential and it has been sent to the state government,” he said.

The committee prepared the report after an open hearing in the matter on Monday.

As many as 27 people, including students, social activists, and student leaders attended the hearing. Some of them recorded their statements and others presented evidence in electronic forms such as video clippings of the violence.

Some of these people have requested the committee to keep their names confidential. The hearing took place for about two hours at the commissioner’s office.

Prof Mahendra Kumar Singh, the head of the department of ophthalmology, was given the additional charge of chief proctor after ON Singh resigned from the post taking moral responsibility for the incident of violence the campus.

University spokesperson Rajesh Singh said that Tripathi has accepted the resignation of Singh and appointed Mahendra Singh in his place.

ON Singh was the first official to be approached by the woman student, who was sexually harassed on campus.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 17:53 IST

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