Campus protests

Varanasi: FIR filed against 1,000 Banaras Hindu University students for arson

Two police officers and an additional district magistrate were removed after the police had baton-charged protesting students.

A First Information Report was filed against 1,000 students of Banaras Hindu University for arson on Monday, after violence had broken out during a protest against a molestation incident on campus. The office of Varanasi’s Senior Superintendent of Police, RK Bhardwaj, said the complaint had been filed against the students at Lanka police station.

The Varanasi administration on Monday also removed Lanka station officer Rajiv Singh, the circle officer of Bhelupur and an additional district magistrate after the police had baton-charged protesting students, ANI reported. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had on Sunday sought a comprehensive report from Varanasi Divisional Commissioner Nitin Gokarn about the incident.

Students at the university have been protesting since Friday morning. They said that three boys had molested a female student near Kala Bhawan inside the campus on Thursday night, and that they were angered by the officials’ alleged insensitivity towards the incident. They have demanded strict curbs on harassing women on campus.

On Saturday night, the police allegedly baton-charged the students while they were protesting at the university gate and in front of the vice chancellor’s residence. Several of them were injured in the incident, which led to more violence on the campus. Some students hurled stones and petrol bombs, targeting the police and paramilitary forces.

On Sunday, the university’s vice-chancellor had blamed “anti-social elements” from outside the college for the protests. The chief proctor too had denied that the police baton-charged the protesting students.

The college was due to close for festival holidays from September 28, but was shut on Sunday. The college will remain closed until October 2.

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