A day after being appointed the first woman chief proctor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Royona Singh on Friday said that there would be no restrictions on students on the basis of their gender, meaning girls will not be penalised over a dress code or for consumption of alcohol. According to a report on The Times of India, there will also not be a ban on non-vegetarian food in the canteens at the university.
The appointment of Royona Singh comes at a time when the university is under the scanner for compromising women's safety, and two days after the resignation of her predecessor ON Singh.
Singh had said that she would introduce a range of stringent measures to ensure security of students, the report added.
"I was born in Europe. I frequently travel to Europe and Canada. Putting a dressing restriction on girls would be like imposing it on myself. You start your day at 6 am and end at 10.30 pm, and if you still can't wear what you feel comfortable in, it is a shame in this era. I find it strange when boys use the words 'skimpily clad'. If a girl feels comfortable in what she wears, what's their objection?" Singh was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Singh, an assistant professor at the Institute of Medical Science (anatomy department), is the first woman in BHU's history to hold the post of chief proctor. She also heads the women grievance cell of the university.
Speaking to media persons on Thursday after her appointment was confirmed, she said safety and security of the students would be her primary concern. "Safety and security of students is first priority. We're here because of the students. The women come first, but everybody's safety is my main concern," she had said.
She added that she wanted to establish a "home-like atmosphere" for the students. "It's like a home away from home for many of us here, so the conditions should also be like the way they are at home. We want them to feel safe and strong here," she said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the crime branch, which has been investigating a sexual assault on a girl student and violence in the varsity, has summoned ex-chief proctor ON Singh and 20 other proctorial board members, according to 101Reporters. The crime branch has given them three days to respond. The Uttar Pradesh police, in its initial report on violence on campus, had held the university administration responsible.
A number of students, including women and two journalists, were injured in a baton charge by the police on 23 September in BHU where a protest turned violent.
Girl students at BHU have been protesting alleging gender bias, and demanding round-the-clock security, making security personnel accountable for untoward incidents involving girls. They have also demanded CCTV network, proper checking at the gates, recruitment of women security guards and setting up of a gender sensitisation panel.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 29, 2017 15:17 PM