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BHU protests: Three top police officials removed for baton-charge, FIR against 1200 students; varsity closed till Oct 2

The police have filed FIR against 1,200 students for inciting violence and arson inside the varsity campus. More than a dozen students were detained on Sunday following the protests turning violent
Edited by: India TV News Desk Varanasi September 25, 2017 12:14 IST
India TV News Desk

Cracking down on the police for baton-charging on students, including women, and journalists in the Banaras Hindu University on Saturday night, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday removed three senior officials, holding them as prima facie for lathicharge.

The three police officials removed for failing to handle the violence include Station Officer (SO) Lanka, CO Bhelupur and one Additional City Magistrate (ACM). 

The action comes a day after the protests by students in the BHU campus against an alleged sexual harassment incident turned violent on Saturday night. 

The police have filed FIR against 1,200 students for inciting violence and arson inside the varsity campus. More than a dozen students were detained on Sunday following the protests turning violent.  

In the wake of the violence, the varsity has announced “holidays” from today till October 2, advancing it from September 28. 

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sought a report from the Divisional Commissioner about the baton-charge by the police on protesting BHU students, which mostly included women.

A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in the lathicharge 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 last night, according to police and university sources.

The lathicharge 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.

How it all started

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 Arts faculty alleged harassment by three men on a motorcycle inside the campus while she was returning to her hostel.

The three men abused her and fled when she resisted their attempts, according to the complainant.

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 was 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.

BHU students have alleged they have to face eve-teasers on the campus regularly and the varsity administration was not taking any action to stop the miscreants.

Police and BHU professors tried to pacify the students yesterday, but they refused to end their protest and sought assurance from the university vice chancellor.

A large number of police personnel have been deployed near the campus as a security precaution, said the police.

Varsity says protests 'politically motivated'

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.

BHU chief proctor O.N.Singh said the police acted in self-defence after the group of protesters, which he claimed was full of outsiders and “anti-social elements,” pelted stones at the security forces and tried to break into the hostels.

Opposition holds BJP responsible for violence

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today slammed the BJP for the lathi charge by police on girl students of the BHU, saying it was the saffron party's version of "Beti Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao".

"BJP version of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in BHU," Gandhi tweeted, attaching a video link of the students who alleged that they were beaten up by male policemen at the campus.

Holding the BHU administration and VC responsible for the violence on campus and assaulting of girl students, Babbar demanded immediate sacking of the VC. 

He also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, "Being the local MP, Modi is equally responsible for this brutality. It is surprising that Modi changed his route to reach the temple for offering prayer to Goddess Durga but did not find it necessary to meet the girls, who were on stir demanding proper security for them."

Babbar asked whether it is the culture of RSS to treat our daughters this way. He alleged that Modi is deliberately trying to create a panic among the opponents. "Anyone trying to protest against the works, decisions and policies of Modi government is either being canned, sent to jail or a CBI probe is being ordered against them."

Babbar, along with many other party leaders, was detained and taken to police lines when they were trying to reach the troubled Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus on Sunday evening. He demanded sacking of BHU vice-chancellor for the alleged brutality committed on girl students.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav condemned the lathicharge of the students in BHU.

"The government should resolve the issue by talks, not by lathicharge. It is condemnable. Action should be taken againt the guilty," Akhilesh tweeted.