BHU students recall police brutality

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The university has advanced its holidays. It now closes for the Dussehra break on September 25, three days earlier than scheduled.

The Banaras Hindu University on Sunday suspended its academic session and advanced its mid-semester break for Dussehra hours after police forces lathi charged protesters, most of them women students sitting on a dharna against the alleged inaction and victim-blaming of a fine arts student who was molested on the campus on Thursday. Several students, journalists covering the protest and policemen were injured in the incident.

Later on Sunday, social activists and students demanded action against the policemen and the culprits in the molestation case.The varsity now closes for the break on September 25, three days earlier than the scheduled date of September 28, even as the campus remainstense with heavy deployment of police.

The students narrated the sequence of events on Saturday night when policemen ran towards those on dharna with batons and chased them from the main gate of the BHU, the protest site. Several students were injured in the police action, which the victims described as brutal and unprovoked.

Aparna Chaubey, a third-year undergraduate student of English literature, received injuries on her back. Ms Chaubey said the police attacked the protestors without any warning, adding that the students were lathi-charged twice.First, a delegation of students who had gathered outside the residence of vice-chancellor G.C. Tripathi were pushed out forcefully by the police, following which the forces attacked the main body of protesters.

Ms. Chaubey was among those who had gone to the VC to seek an audience, which had been the main demand of the protesters. “But then he told us he would not meet us as he was hurt that the statue of [BHU founder Madan Mohan] Malviyaji had been smeared with blank paint,” Ms. Chaubey said.

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