VARANASI: A woman student is beaten up with sticks by policemen during a protest on Saturday at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) of Varanasi, in a widely-shared video that has provoked waves of outrage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah today spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the violence that has been condemned by students, activists and opposition parties. Two policemen and an officer have been removed in Varanasi, which is PM Modi’s parliamentary constituency.
Here are top 10 facts about violence at the Banaras Hindu University:
1.The cellphone video showed policemen charging towards women protesting at the gates of a hostel at the prestigious university. As the women rushed inside, one student was left outside. A policeman is seen pushing the woman, who falls to the ground. Two other cops then begin thrashing her with batons.
2.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered an investigation into the mobile phone video. The police have filed 1,000 FIRs against unknown students, listing arson and vandalism.
3.A number of students and two journalists were also allegedly injured in the baton charge. Officers said several police personnel were also injured in stone-throwing. A senior police officer confirmed today that 1,000 FIRs have been filed over the protest.
4.The police claimed the violence was triggered by outsiders who took advantage of the student protests. Students had been protesting since Thursday over a first-year student’s charge that she was molested by three men in bikes within the campus.
5.Students say the campus is not safe for students. The administration, they allege, went for victim-shaming instead of arranging proper security in the campus.
6.Violence broke out on Saturday night after security guards at the university stopped students outside Vice-Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi’s home. Soon, the police was called in.
7.The Vice Chancellor has promised action, saying the university will soon install CCTV cameras inside the campus.
8.Nearly 1,500 policemen including personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary have been deployed in and around the campus to maintain law and order.
9.The opposition has sharply criticised the state government. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi derided the state’s ruling BJP saying the violence was the “BJP version of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in BHU”.
10.Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “Lathicharge on BHU students is condemnable. The government must find solutions through talks and not force. There should be action against those involved.”