Several protesting students, including girls, of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) were injured after they were lathicharged by the Uttar Pradesh police late on Saturday. The students were holding protest against the increasing incidents of eve-teasing inside the campus.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has sought report from the local authorities.
According to reports, clashes between students and police began after a group of protesting students trying to enter the vice-chancellor’s residence.
Several female students were injured when the police allegedly used force to remove protesters from outside the vice-chancellor’s residence.
The students have alleged that the police thrashed them and pulled them by the hair. But the allegations were, however, dismissed by the Varanasi district magistrate.
The students also claimed that the police lathicharged them without provocation, and even entered a girls’ hostel. However, there is yet to be any official police reaction on these allegations.
The students have been sitting on a protest against the incidents of eve-teasing in the BHU campus. The latest incident of eve-teasing was reported on Thursday, when a woman student of the arts faculty was harassed by three men on a motorcycle inside the campus as she returned to her hostel. The three men abused her and fled when she resisted their attempts, she said.
The woman alleged that security guards, about 100 metres from where the incident happened, did nothing to stop the men. She said her warden, instead of taking up the issue with her superiors, asked her why was she returning late to the hostel.
The warden’s response angered the student’s colleagues, who sat on a ‘dharna’ at the main gate midnight Thursday. One of the students even got her head tonsured.
The protest had even forced authorities to change the planned route for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy on Friday, who was on a two-day visit to his Parliamentary constituency.
A large number of police personnel have been deployed near the campus as a security precaution, said the police.
On Friday night, the BHU issued a statement saying the ‘dharna’ by the students just a day before 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 on the campus.
(With inputs from the agencies)