Banaras Hindu University Registrar Neeraj Tripathi was on Wednesday appointed the interim vice chancellor, after Girish Chandra Tripathi went on indefinite leave, ANI reported. Neeraj Tripathi will be the officiating vice chancellor for two months, PTI reported.

On Tuesday, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the university had received Girish Chandra Tripathi’s application for leave, and confirmed it.

Tripathi had drawn criticism for his comments on an alleged case of molestation at the Banaras Hindu University campus, which had sparked student protests in the university from September 21 to 23. He had dismissed the alleged sexual harassment as “a simple case of eve-teasing”.

On Monday, reports said Tripathi had taken leave citing personal reasons. His application did not mention the date of rejoining office.

On September 18, he had threatened to resign if he was asked to go on leave because of the violence on campus. “Having done so much [for the university], it will be insulting to go on leave two months before my tenure comes to end,” he had said.

Tripathi’s tenure as vice chancellor ends on November 30. The Ministry of Human Resource Development is in the process of shortlisting his successor.