Free Press Journal

Probe ordered into BHU Violence


Lucknow/New Delhi : An inquiry has been ordered into the violence in Banaras Hindu University last week, the vice chancellor and the Uttar Pradesh government said on Tuesday.

Several students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a lathi-charge by police inside the university during a protest following a woman student’s complaint that she was harassed.

While BHU Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi said he had ordered an inquiry headed by a retired high court judge, state government spokesperson and minister Srikant Sharma maintained it was a magisterial probe. It was not clear whether there was one inquiry or two.

“I have ordered an inquiry into the incident. Retired Allahabad High Court judge B S Dixit will head the panel,” Tripathi told PTI in the national capital.

However, Sharma said, “The BHU authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incidents.”

Earlier, speaking to mediapersons after a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow, he had said a “judicial inquiry” had been ordered.

“By mistake, I had said earlier that it will be a judicial inquiry. It is in fact a magisterial inquiry,” Sharma clarified later.

He also said the government had on its part ordered a separate probe by the Varanasi commissioner and the ADG (additional director general) police.

Tripathi, who was in the national capital on Tuesday for the university’s executive council meeting, said the violence was fanned by “rumour mongering” and “outsiders”. He claimed the council’s meeting was scheduled long back and the violence did not figure on its agenda.

He also brushed aside allegations of gender bias in the central university, suggesting the perception may have to do with the fact that authorities were “more concerned” about the security of women than men.

Tripathi said he had been keeping Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar updated on the issue from the very beginning.

“We have the footage in which outsiders can be clearly seen at the protest. Rumour mongering escalated the protests. Rumours were spread that girls have been asked to vacate the hostels and those who were not involved in the protests also joined it,” he said.

The trigger was a woman student of the Arts faculty alleging harassment by three men on a motorcycle inside the campus while she was returning to her hostel.

VC denies report of being summoned

VARANASI: Banaras Hindu University’s (BHU) Vice Chancellor G C Tripathy on Tuesday said that he had not been summoned by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to explain the violence that had taken place on his campus in the week gone by. “This is false news doing rounds in media. I haven’t been summoned by the HRD Ministry,” Tripathy said.