Varanasi: A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in lathi charge by the police in the Banaras Hindu University which witnessed violence on Saturday night, in an ugly turn to a protest against an alleged eve-teasing incident.
Violence Rocks Bhu Campus As Students, Police Clash
In the wake of the violence, the university has announced "holidays" from Monday till October 2, advancing it from September 28. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought a report from the divisional commissioner about the incident as various political parties, including Samajwadi Party, criticised the government and condemned the police action. A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in the lathi charge by the police.
Some policemen were also injured in the clashes during which students indulged in arson, police sources said.
Violence erupted after some students, protesting against the alleged eve-teasing incident of Thursday, wanted to meet the Vice Chancellor at his residence on Saturday night, according to police and university sources.
The security guards of the university stopped them and the police was informed, according to the university sources.
BHU spokesperson said some students wanted to "forcibly" enter the VC's residence but they were stopped by the security guards of the university. Subsequently, there was stone pelting by "outsiders" who had joined the students. Police used lathicharge to control the situation. "I have sought a report from the divisional commissioner, Varanasi, about the entire incident," Adityanath said in Lucknow.
The lathi charge on journalists led to protests in Lucknow with some journalists staging a sit-in near the CM's residence. They later gave a memorandum to the District Magistrate demanding action against the guilty. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav condemned the lathi charge of the students in BHU. "The government should resolve the issue by talks, not by lathi charge. It is condemnable. Action should be taken against the guilty," Akhilesh tweeted. On Saturday night, the BHU issued a statement, saying the 'dharna' by the students just a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit was "politically motivated" to malign the image of the university.The university also said that security guards were regularly patrolling the campus and assistance from the police is sought from time-to-time to maintain peace in the campus.
Senior officials including District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and Superintendent of Police (city) Dinesh Singh reached the campus along with a large posse of police. Nearly 1500 policemen including PAC personnel have been deployed in and around the campus to maintain law and order in the campus. The BHU students have been protesting near the university's main gate since Thursday against the rising eve-teasing incidents on the campus. The trigger was an incident in which a woman student of the Arts faculty alleged harassment by three men on a motorcycle inside the campus while she was returning to her hostel. Sharad Yadav criticises police action Senior Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav denounced the alleged police action against Banaras Hindu University students protesting the increasing incidents of eve-teasing on the campus, and said the issue will be raised in Parliament. "It has never happened before at BHU. It is sheer violation of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution," Yadav said in a statement. "We will raise the issue in Parliament... It is intolerable in a democracy and the government should apologise," he said, adding people will take to the streets to protest it.