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BHU students' protest against eve-teasing turns violent, several girls injured in police crackdown

Varanasi: Students' protest at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) against the increasing incidents of eve-teasing inside the campus turned violent on Saturday night as a group of protesting students trying to enter the vice-chancellor's residence clashed with the police, according to media reports.

 BHU students protest against eve-teasing turns violent, several girls injured in police crackdown

BHU students protesting on Saturday. News18

Several female students were injured when the police allegedly used force to remove protesters from outside  the vice-chancellor's residence, Hindustan Times reported.

The students have alleged, the report added, that the police thrashed them and pulled them by the hair, a charge which Varanasi district magistrate dismissed.

According to a report in The Times of India, students from boys' hostels hurled stones and petrol bombs at police and paramilitary forces on campus on Saturday evening.

The students, according to a report in NDTV, claimed that the police lathicharged them without provocation, not even sparing women students. Students also alleged that the police entered a girls' hostel.

Political leaders and student activists took to Twitter to condemn the police crackdown:

What triggered the protests

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 forced authorities to change the planned route for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's convoy on Friday.

The students said they have to face eve-teasers inside the campus regularly and the administration was not taking any action to stop the miscreants.

Police and BHU professors tried to pacify the students on Friday, but they refused to end their protest and sought assurances from the university vice-chancellor.

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 PTI

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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2017 11:12:16 IST