The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday arrested three men for allegedly sexually assaulting a student inside the Indian Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University campus in Varanasi in November, PTI reported.

According to the complainant, she had gone out of her hostel with a friend on the night of November 1. Three men, who came there on a motorcycle, separated her from her friend and allegedly forcibly took her to a corner.

The men then allegedly stripped the woman, clicked photos of her and made a video. She was able to leave after 15 minutes after they took her phone number, PTI quoted the complainant as saying.

The incident led students of the university to protest and demand that the entry of outsiders in the campus be banned.

A first information report was registered at Lanka police station under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Information Technology Act.

Subsequently, the charge of gangrape was added to the FIR, PTI quoted the police as saying.

PTI quoted Shivakant Mishra, the station house officer of the Lanka police station, as identifying the three men as Kunal Pandey, Saksham Patel and Abhishek Chauhan.

Opposition alleges accused linked to BJP

Opposition parties have attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleging that the accused are linked to the ruling party.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged in a social media post that those arrested were part of a new crop of BJP workers thriving under the patronage of senior leaders.

Yadav said that the Uttar Pradesh government had been forced to arrest the men because of the solid evidence in the case and the growing public anger.

“Every woman across the country is seeing how the BJP is playing with women’s dignity and protecting those accused of atrocities, harassment and rape,” Yadav said. “Women will not give even a single vote to the BJP in the upcoming elections. Women will be the reason for the BJP’s defeat.”

Congress’ Uttar Pradesh chief Ajay Rai alleged that Pandey was the convenor of the BJP’s Mahanagar information technology cell and Saksham Patel was the personal assistant of Dilip Patel, the Hindutva’s party Kashi zone chief. “This is the evil face of BJP. Shameful,” Rai said in a social media post.

However, Dilip Patel told the Hindustan Times that Saksham Patel was never his personal assistant. “As a worker, [Saksham Patel] accompanied me sometimes but two months before the shameful incident, he had ended his association with BJP and me,” Dilip Patel told the newspaper.

The BJP said that those guilty will be punished as per the law. “Under the BJP government, even after having an association with the party, a person who has committed a crime will be arrested and get strict punishment,” the newspaper quoted party spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi as saying.