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IIT-BHU Woman Student Alleges She Was Gang-Raped, Say Police; No Arrests Yet

Earlier, the student alleged that 3 men forcibly kissed her, disrobed her, and clicked videos and photos of the act.

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Video Producer: Mayank Chawla

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of rape and sexual assault. Reader discretion advised.)

Nearly a week after a 20-year-old woman student was allegedly molested and disrobed on the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-BHU campus in Varanasi, the survivor, in a new statement, alleged that she was gang-raped on the night of the incident, police officials confirmed to The Quint.

Earlier, the IIT-BHU student alleged that the three men forcibly kissed her, disrobed her, and clicked videos and photos of the act.

Based on the latest statement of the survivor, sections 376-D (gangrape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 509 (Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been added to the First Information Report (FIR) filed at the Lanka police station, the police said.

However, no arrests have been made so far.

The incident, which took place late on November 1, led to massive protests by IIT-BHU students who gathered at the institute director's office demanding better security on campus. The student-led protest was called off later that night after the institution promised to look into measures that would enhance student security.

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'Shut My Mouth, Kissed Me Forcibly': Survivor in FIR

In the FIR accessed by The Quint, the woman, who resides at IIT-BHU's hostel, stated that the incident took place when she went for a walk with her friend at around 1:30 am on 2 November.

The student said that around 300-400 meters from the Karman Baba temple on campus, three men on a bike ambushed her and her friend from behind.

"They parked their motorcycle there and separated my friend and me. They shut my mouth tightly and took me to a corner, kissed me forcibly, took off my clothes, and recorded photos and videos. When I shouted for help, they threatened to kill me. They let me go after 10-15 minutes. When I ran towards my hostel, I heard the sound of the motorcycle. Then, I hid at the residence of a professor for around 20 minutes. The professor then took me to the security officials."
20-year-old IIT-BHU student in FIR

Based on a complaint filed by the woman student, an FIR was lodged on 2 November at Lanka police station under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and under 66E (capturing, publishing, transmitting private photos without consent) of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

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Students Protest, Demand CCTVs & Night Barricading 

Later on 2 November, hundreds of students gathered in protest outside the office of IIT-BHU's director, demanding better security on campus.

In a statement, the IIT-BHU Students' Parliament, a student body on campus, said the "heinous crime" had shaken the "very fiber of the institution."

"It is also not the first time such an incident has occurred on campus. Students have repeatedly raised concerns about security on campus, but the administration has failed to take adequate action," it said.

The student body listed out five main demands to the IIT-BHU administration:

  • Night barricading to restrict entry of outsider vehicles inside the campus with a single point entry/exit

  • Centralised CCTV system inside campus

  • Legal action escalated by college on violent offenders

  • Immediate on-ground and legal action on incidents

"We have time and again raised the fact that our campus is unsafe and that they take measures to rectify it. We feel extremely unsafe leaving the campus at night. We have organised this protest to ensure that the administration takes steps to install CCTV cameras and make sure that the campus is secured at all times."
Prashant Kumar Pandey, second-year MSc student, IIT-BHU

Maitrayi Komple, a final-year student at IIT-BHU and member of the student representative said that the university has agreed to the demands of the students.

"As of now, the protests have been called off. They (administration) have asked us for one week's time and assured students that it would take steps to enhance security," Maitrayi added.

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What Has the University Said?

Earlier on 2 November, the IIT-BHU administration issued a notice and said, "All barricades in the institute shall henceforth be closed from 10 pm to 5 am… The guard at post may allow vehicles having BHU stickers/IIT(BHU) ID cards."

On Thursday night, the BHU administration issued a statement to students and said that Varanasi's (Divisional) Commissioner had a discussion with the Ministry of Education about constructing a boundary wall in the campus.

"A joint committee of CPWD and IIT-BHU professors will be constituted and entrusted with the task of surveying the institute campus for construction of a boundary wall… The committee shall submit its report within a week’s time and thereafter Commissioner Varanasi shall forward the same to the government for appropriate approval and funding," it said.

CCTV cameras at several locations, including in girls' hostels, will be installed at the earliest, the administration added.

"The administration and police sat down with the students and listened to their demands. We are investigating the case and are ensuring that the culprits are caught in time. We will take strict action against anti-social elements. The police teams, along with security personnel of IIT-BHU are ensuring round-the-clock security on campus," Varanasi's Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Shivasimpi Channappa told media.

(With inputs from Lucknow-based journalist Ashhar Asrar.)

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