Banaras Hindu University protest: Nearly 1,500 policemen were deployed in and around the campus.
Varanasi: The widely shared video of a woman student being beaten up with sticks by policemen during a protest at the Banaras Hindu University or BHU of Varanasi on Saturday, 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:
- 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.
- Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered an investigation into the mobile phone video. The police have filed a First Information Report against 1,000 unknown students for vandalism and arson, a senior officer said.
- No protests were held today at the university , where students are still seething. On Sunday, after a group of students took out a protest march, the police detained more than a dozen students.
- But in Delhi, student groups across the board -- including those linked to the BJP, Congress and AAP -- carried out protests against the use of force by the police at the BHU campus. Protests were also held on the campus of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University by activists, students and youth groups.
- The police say Saturday's baton charge was in retaliation to stone throwing by outsiders, who took advantage of the protests and created mayhem. Several officers were injured in stone-throwing. A number of students and two journalists were also allegedly injured in the baton charge.
- 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. They contend that the university administration, instead of ensuring women's safety in the campus, restricted their movement and went for victim-shaming.
- 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. The Vice Chancellor has now promised action, saying the university will soon install CCTV cameras inside the campus.
- The opposition has sharply criticised the state government. Pointing out that the incident took place in PM Modi's constituency, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said, "Modiji should apologise to the students of BHU and take immediate action".
- Yesterday, 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."
- UP's deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said took on the opposition, saying, "If people want to play politics they are harming education". The government, he said, was "sensitive" to the issue and investigations are on.
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