Banaras Hindu University (BHU), one of the more reputed Universities of India has recently come under the radar for wrong doings. Since Saturday night, the university has been under fire, with police lathi-charging students who were protesting against molestation on campus. As reported by sources, there was a case of molestation on campus, and the girl fainted after the unfortunate incident. The Vice Chancellor of the University had promised to talk to the students at 5 pm on Saturday, second day of female and male students demanding the VC to hold a meeting outside his office. The VC then shifted the meeting to 8 pm, the students began the protest at 11 pm when the VC had still not showed up for the meeting. The 5 pm meeting with the girls was to be held at MMV college, while the 8 pm meeting was said to be happening at Triveni Hostel, where the incident of molestation had occurred. This meeting was not allowed as girls were told to return to their respective hostels by the VC as he maintained that leaving the hostels is unacceptable. This agitated the girls and they began their protests.
The main issue created after the protest broke out was that, firstly there was nothing being done in terms of securing the campus, and secondly there was a lathi-charge begun by the police after the police started shutting the doors of the Mahila Mahavidyala Hostel on the girl students. When male students protested this move, the police started the lathi-charge, and the fact that there were no female officers on campus, and the female students were beaten by male cops.
“They hurled rocks at us” said one female student, while pointing at her injured leg.
“Boys were lathi-charged but even girls were not spared. We were even given the choicest abuses” said female students to ANI.
The VC has claimed the involvement of “anti-social elements” and of students who are not a part of BHU. He says, these elements have influenced the students to go to extreme levels. Students have been asked to leave campus, their Dusshera break has been extended to begin from the 25th of September. Students of the Triveni Hostel especially had been advised to leave for home by 4pm on Sunday and only return after 2nd October.
The victim had been questioned as to why she was out of campus after sunset once the student took the case to the proctorial board’s security personnel. the incident reportedly took place at 6pm out of campus. After this meeting the student told her roommates about the sexist comments made by the authorities, the students then held a protest on Friday morning and they had a few demands they wanted to be fulfilled by the University. They asked for basic safety and security measures to be taken to make the campus a safer place. They asked for things such as CCTV cameras to be installed, round-the-clock security, recruitment of women police officers, and they asked for a Gender Sensitization Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH).
These are basic amenities that come with any institution, for that matter any renowned institute will have these security measures in place.
Is it so wrong to ask for a safer campus?