Banaras Hindu University Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi on Sunday blamed outsiders for the widespread protests on campus against the alleged molestation of a woman. “Badi maatra mein bahaar se log aaye jinhone iss andolan ko hawa dene ki koshish ki [A large number of outsiders entered the college, and instigated the protests],” he told ANI. “We had information that some anti-social elements would try to disturb the environment of the university.”
The university’s Chief Proctor ON Singh seconded Tripathi’s claim that many of the protestors were outsiders, and said that the police did not baton-charge the students. “There was no baton-charge. The protesting crowd had a large number of anti-social and miscreant elements in it,” he told The Hindu. “They broke the Triveni Gate, and tried to forcefully enter the girls’ hostels. They pelted stones at the police, who acted in their defence. Some policemen also received injuries.”
The vice chancellor called the molestation “an unfortunate incident”, and claimed that they have taken stringent action.” He added that though the student initially had complaints about the university, but “now that is not the case”.
Tripathi said that the university would try to improve security for women on campus. “Some girls said the university should be more sensitive towards safety,” he said. “I agreed with their viewpoint. Safety and security is important. We will have to consider various aspects with regard to the safety of women in the university.”
Fresh violence broke out on Sunday afternoon when girls from Birla Hostel took out a march. The police reportedly baton-charged them again, and detained 37 students, a postgraduate final-year student told Scroll.in. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday sought a comprehensive report from the Varanasi commissioner of police about the incident.
The campus has been on the boil since Saturday night when police action against women students protesting at the university gate and in front of the vice chancellor’s residence left several of them injured. It led to more violence on the campus. Some students allegedly hurled stones and petrol bombs, targeting the police and paramilitary forces.