BHU students stage candle light protest in Delhi

BHU students stage candle light protest in Delhi
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People during a candle light vigil to condemn the police lathicharge on the female students of BHU, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

New Delhi: The students of Banaras Hindu University, BHU, on Tuesday staged a demonstration in New Delhi, naming the protest as an outburst after years of their sufferings going unheard. The students accused the police of abruptly charging batons without making an announcement. The lathi charge resulted in students getting injured.

An undergraduate student of BHU, Mineshi Mishra, who claims to have been beaten up by the police alleged that gender sensitisation was non-existent on the campus. Carrying bruises on her body, Mishra said that only outsiders felt bizarre to hear BHU vice chancellor’s stereotyped statements, but insiders (students) were used to it, reports the Indian Express.

“He had earlier made statements like – daughters are those who sacrifice their studies for that of their brothers,” Mishra alleged, adding that the VC had looked down upon women studying late nights. “He had also starkly said he knew how and what BA students study and they did not need libraries,” she said.

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Repulsing VC Girish Chandra Tripathi’s theory of involvement of “outsiders” which caused the protest to escalate, she said: “The entire campus was on section 144 and lathicharge was done in the entire campus and none of the outsiders can get in.”

A former student of BHU Prof Anand Pradhan, who took part in the solidarity protest, said it was an unprecedented attack on women students in the campus. While another student said, the police without making any announcement did lathi charge.

“Since 1996, BHU students elections have not taken place. Only with the existence of such bodies, students’ issues would be taken up,” Pradhan said. Responding to the VC’s statements on providing safety and freedom to students, JNUSU President Geeta Kumari said it was tricky to consider freedom and safety together.

“Ensuring safety without freedom of mobility of women is equal to putting them in jail,” Kumari said. The BHU students, who will be visiting Delhi University and JNU campuses to spread the word, demanded the termination of the VC from his post, the abolition of curfew timing, the formation of gender sensitisation committee, equality in food for girls and boys, and installation of CCTV cameras, among others.

Hundreds of students and activists took part in the protest followed by a candlelight march.