Banaras Hindu University on Wednesday appointed Mahendra Singh chief proctor after Onkar Nath Singh submitted his resignation from the post to Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi, ANI reported. Singh reportedly stepped down after taking moral responsibility for the violence on campus from September 21 to 23.
His resignation came hours after the National Human Rights Commission gave the Uttar Pradesh Police and Banaras Hindu University’s vice chancellor four weeks to submit reports on the alleged molestation of a woman on campus and the police action during the students’ protests that followed.
The commission had said it has taken suo motu cognisance of the university’s “alleged inaction” against the molestation complaint filed on Thursday, September 21, as well as reports of the police manhandling protesting students on Saturday night.
On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had said that the university administration had been instructed to deal strongly with anti-social elements who vitiate the atmosphere. “We are going to give the report of this entire incident to the Central government also,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Divisional Commissioner of Varanasi Nitin Gokarn, in a preliminary report, had blamed the university administration for the campus violence, saying it had ignored the student’s complaint.
Students at Banaras Hindu University began their protest on the morning of September 22, alleging that three men had molested a female student inside the campus the night before, on Thursday. They had accused the administration of insensitivity.
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.
Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi had dismissed the alleged sexual harassment as “a simple case of eve-teasing”. He also claimed that the “incident was deliberately staged” a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Varanasi. Tripathi had also denied that the police had baton-charged protesting students.