Published: 24th September 2018
BHU students assaulted by ABVP for organising events to celebrate gender equality
When the students were not perturbed by their chants, the ABVP members allegedly pushed a cow, which was passing by, towards them
Members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) shouting slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shree Ram, allegedly, attacked a meeting organised by the Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Banaras Hindu University on September 23. The students had organised street performances and open mic events to celebrate the first anniversary of the students' protests against inequality and sexual harassment of women last year.
The ABVP members allegedly assaulted the students who were there for the open mic event. "The ABVP goons started shouting slogans to disrupt our street play on women empowerment. When we reached the spot where we were supposed to organise the open mic the ABVP members were already there on a dharna against us," said Aakansha, a third-year Political Science student of the university. "They tried to disrupt this event as well but we went on."
When the students were not perturbed by their chants, the ABVP members allegedly pushed a cow, which was passing by, towards them. "We formed a circle with the girls on the outer ring and the boys inside as we thought these goons won't hit women," added Aakansha. "But they not only pushed and hit us but they also openly molested women."
During all this, the students alleged, police officers from the local police station were present along with the guards and other officials of the varsity. The proctors came in to stop the ruckus after the situation started to take a violent turn. "The officials and the police personnel were just standing there. They did not move a finger," said Aakansha, who claims to have been physically assaulted by the Chief Proctor, Royana Singh. "The people who attacked us were not all students from the university. There were goons from outside the campus as well."
The girls were asked to go back to their hostel but it was not long before they came back out. They continued the event despite several attempts by the administration to convince them to stop. "This was a great step as they showed the administration, the goons and all those who have this kind of mentality that the girls will resist any kind of injustice," read a statement published by Students For Change, a student's organisation of the university, on Facebook. "Instead of taking action on the goons, all the security forces were trying to stop the girls' event, which clearly showed their stand."
The students had not asked for permission from the authorities and that's what restricted immediate intervention said Chief Proctor, Royana Singh, "Had we intervened they would have accused us of obstructing their programme. We were being vigilant and watched them since 3 pm and jumped in when things got violent," said Royana. "They have the right to express but they should have sought permission before going through with their programme. They were also shouting out provocative slogans that might infuriate a particular section of the society. But the fight started when they brought in outsiders. We are yet to identify them."
The students managed to file an FIR around 9 pm after the scuffle ended. "Since we were separated and sent inside the hostel we could not communicate with our other friends and it took so long to file the complaint, added Aakansha.