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BHU protests: NHRC issues notice to V-C Tripathi, Uttar Pradesh govt over police action against students

New Delhi: The NHRC has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the BHU vice-chancellor over alleged inaction on "complaints of eve-teasing" on the campus, and the police action against the students, who were protesting over the issue.

 BHU protests: NHRC issues notice to V-C Tripathi, Uttar Pradesh govt over police action against students

Students and police in a standoff in Varanasi. PTI

The students, mostly women, had been protesting, demanding a meeting with vice-chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi for ensuring their safety and security.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday said it has taken cognisance of media reports about alleged inaction on the part of the Banaras Hindu University authorities on a "complaint of eve-teasing and subsequent use of unwarranted manhandling and thrashing of agitating students, mostly women, by the Uttar Pradesh Police".

The rights panel issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and the director general of police, and the BHU V-C, seeking a detailed report in four weeks.

"They have been asked to include the details of action taken against the miscreants and precautionary measures taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur," the NHRC said in a statement.

The Commission observed that the contents of the media reports, carried on 25-26 September, are indicative of "lapses on the part of the university authorities, including the security guards, who instead of taking quick action on the complaint of eve-teasing, allegedly indulged in sarcastic comments towards the victim girl".

The students were protesting the alleged incident of eve-teasing and inaction by the security guards. In return, they were subjected to "inhuman treatment" by the police, which amounts to "violation of human rights of the students", it said in a statement.

"The university authorities should have acted sensibly as the matter related to the dignity of a woman. The police authorities resorted to rather harsh steps than the situation, perhaps, warranted," the Commission added.

Several students, including women, and two journalists were injured in police action at BHU where a protest on Saturday night against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent.

A woman student of the Arts Faculty was allegedly subjected to eve-teasing by three men on a motorcycle on the campus when she was returning to her hostel around 6.20 pm on 21 September, the NHRC said.

The miscreants reportedly "abused" her and fled when she resisted their attempts. The security guards, as alleged by the girl student, were about 100 m away from the place of incident, but did nothing to stop them.

When the matter was brought to the notice of the hostel warden, she, instead of taking up the issue with the superiors, asked the girl why was she returning late to the hostel, it said.

The students were demanding round-the-clock security, making security personnel accountable for untoward incidents targeting girls, adequate lighting on the roads to women's hostel, CCTV network and proper checking at the gates, recruitment of women security guards and setting up of a gender sensitisation panel.

"The students tried to meet the vice-chancellor but they were not allowed. The students, mostly women, were allegedly beaten up by the police," the rights panel said.

The police have stated that a large number of personnel have been deployed near the campus as a security precaution, it said.

"In a statement, the BHU authorities have mentioned that the dharna by the students just a day before the prime ministers visit was politically motivated to malign the image of the university," the NHRC said.

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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2017 11:59:19 IST

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