BHU violence: National Commission for Women's preliminary probe states 'eve-teasing' is rampant on campus

By FP Staff

Acting chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW) Rekha Sharma said the panel's preliminary investigation found eve-teasing was rampant on the Banaras Hindu University campus and promised to install special security cameras soon. Her statement comes a day after she said a probe will be launched into September's violence on the campus.

Addressing the media in Varanasi about the BHU violence where female students were allegedly lathicharged, Sharma said: "There were many issues, but the girls wanted to talk peacefully. The protests took another turn when hijacked by outsiders."

"We found that eve-teasing is rampant on the campus, with even campus boys getting involved," said Sharma.

There were many issues but girls wanted to talk peacefully.Protest took another turn when it was hijacked by outsiders: NCW Chairperson #BHU pic.twitter.com/XsBt06K2E6

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 6, 2017

On Thursday, the NCW chief had told the media that BHU Vice-Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi would be given a chance to express his side of the story. "If he (Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi) wants to put up his side of the story, it is good, otherwise he will be asked to appear before the National Commission for Women and do so," Sharma had said earlier.

NCW chief Rekha Sharma arrived at Benaras Hindu University on Thursday. PTI

However, on Friday, Sharma said the vice chancellor had not met her or picked up her calls, reported ANI. "The vice-chancellor neither met me nor picked calls. He will be summoned to Delhi," said Sharma further adding the vice chancellor "didn't play his part in controlling the situation. Tripathi went on leave citing personal reasons on Monday, days after the violence took place.

Sharma said the NCW asked the authorities to increase security near Naveen Hostel. "Its condition is terrible," said Sharma. She also mentioned that a decision on curfew timings for both boys and girls will be announced within a day or two. She also said a few boys, who were not BHU students, were illegally staying in the hostels. The girls have been asked to identify them and the list will then be given to the SSP, added Sharma.

Addressing concerns over students' safety on the BHU campus, Sharma said, "Special security cameras are installed, while high tech cameras will be installed soon. We have also asked the SSP to deploy forces in campus for a few days."

The NCW chief went on to assure that the people responsible for the violence will be "rounded up, immediately ousted from the campus and legal action will be taken against them."

Violence had erupted on the BHU campus on 24 September when students from the boys' hostels hurled stones and petrol bombs at the police and paramilitary forces on VC Lodge Road on campus.

Students had gone berserk following reports of some hostel inmates suffering injuries in the cane-charge by policemen near the VC lodge.

Police had resorted to use of force after a group of boys blocked the gate of the vice chancellor's lodge in support of girls residing in hostels protesting against the menace of harassment on campus.

The girls had held a 13-hour demonstration even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also the Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi, was in the city on a two-day visit.

With inputs from PTI