Watch: Women Not Safe On BHU Campus, Say Protesting Students
BHU students organise a protest march outside their university.
BHU students organise a protest march outside their university.(Photo: The Quint)

Watch: Women Not Safe On BHU Campus, Say Protesting Students

Students of the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi continued to protest for the third day against the molestation of a student inside the campus. The incident triggered large-scale protests by students against the university authorities for their alleged lack of action.

Over 200 protestors had gathered on 23 September, demanding that the Vice Chancellor of the university listen to their concerns. The protesting students, speaking to The Quint, said that women students were not safe on the campus.

We demand that the Vice Chancellor meets us and listen to our demands. The problem is that no one wants to listen to our concerns.
A protesting student

The victim, a first-year fine arts student, was allegedly molested and harassed by three men at outside her hostel at 6 pm on 21 September.

BHU Student Recounts Incident

The incident happened on Thursday evening (21 September) at 6 pm when three men on a bike teased my friend and tried to block her way. They even tried to put their hands under her kurta. Aghast, the woman went to the proctor’s office to complain against the misconduct of the men. The proctor, in turn, went on to question the girl’s credibility. She was told that it was wrong for her “to be out at 6 pm.”
BHU student

The minute the girl reached her hostel, girls in her hostel were just as shocked by the authorities’ reaction as was the victim. They decided to stage a protest outside the VC’s office immediately.

What was heartening to see was that men were supporting our cause too. They came out in great numbers to the protest march.  
Student 

The students are demanding that the V-C take strict action against the accused, and that he must swear to provide women security.

A Times of India report indicated that the protest may have been responsible for changing the route of the convoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Varanasi for a two-day visit, along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

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    (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
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    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University. 
    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University.  (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
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    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University. 
    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University.  (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
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    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University. 
    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University.  (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
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    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University. 
    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University.  (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
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    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University. 
    Students protest outside Banaras Hindu University.  (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
The victim’s friend, as a mark of protest, shaved off her head, adding that she would continue to do so the same every month to “desexualise” herself. She says this is the only way to avoid harassment and eve-teasing.

Students Protest Against University Authorities at Midnight

Around 200 students gathered outside the BHU main gate at midnight on 22 September asking for the V-C to come out and speak to them regarding the issue of students’ safety.

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    (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@BhuBuzz)
    (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@BhuBuzz) Large-scale protests at the Banaras Hindu University on Friday night.  
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(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@BhuBuzz)
    (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@BhuBuzz) Large-scale protests at the Banaras Hindu University on Friday night.  

Complain Letter to the Dean of Students

The complaint letter alleges frequent incidents of harassment and demands, among other things, better lighting infrastructure and installation of CCTV cameras.  
The complaint letter alleges frequent incidents of harassment and demands, among other things, better lighting infrastructure and installation of CCTV cameras.  
(Photo: The Quint)

'No Security for Me?'

Women at the Banaras Hindu University allege that the administration does very little to give women security.

A large part of the university remains underlit. There are a handful of CCTV cameras in the campus. Even among the ones that are installed, only a few work.
BHU student

“Getting harassed is a very common thing in BHU. It happens almost every day,” said another protesting student.

Many students drop out of college to avoid harassment.

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta