Allahabad University protest: VC takes cognizance of harassment allegations against Proctorial board

In a statement shared by the university spokesperson, the institute urged the students to end the agitation, ensuring that the allegations will be immediately considered
Visuals from the protest| (Picture: Source)
Visuals from the protest| (Picture: Source)

After almost a week-long agitation by the students alleging physical and verbal harassment of a student by the proctorial board of Allahabad University (AU), the institute has responded by saying that Vice-Chancellor Sangita Srivastava has taken cognizance of the matter.

In a statement shared by the university spokesperson, the institute urged the students to end the agitation, ensuring that the allegations will be immediately considered and injustice will not be done to any student.

“Honorable Vice Chancellor Madam has taken cognizance of the allegations made by the student against the members of the Proctorial Board and the Chief Proctor and the allegations made by the former Assistant Superintendent against the student and others. In this regard, both the parties will be given an opportunity to present their views and facts,” the statement said.

Here’s what happened

On Monday, January 29, an MA final-year student, Abhishek Gupta, a resident of Sir Sunder Lal Hostel (SSL) hostel, alleged that he was called to the proctor’s office where he was beaten up and physically harassed by Assistant Superintendent Dr Atul Narayan Singh in the presence of AU’s Chief Proctor Rakesh Singh and in-charge of the AU police outpost.

An audio recording of the incident went viral on social media where the student can be heard being verbally abused. 

Following this, students of the university staged a protest on the university campus on Monday night (January 29). Following the agitation by students, the university authorities removed Dr Singh from his post of SSL hostel assistant superintendent with immediate effect on Tuesday, January 30.

The agitated students, however,  continued their protest, demanding immediate suspension of Atul Narayan and AU police outpost in-charge, Vinay Singh.

Speaking about the protest, Satyam Kushwaha, a student of Allahabad University and State Vice-President, National Students Union of India (NSUI) - UP East, said, “The student was verbally abused by the proctorial board, he was asked to strip and was beaten up. After the incident, even though the students have continuously been protesting, no action has been taken so far. No case has been registered against the culprits. Though Dr Singh was removed from his position, he still continues to be a part of the proctorial team.”

The events further escalated when the university Registrar Prof Narendra Kumar Shukla, alleged that a group of students attacked him and hurled an ‘ink-like substance’ at him on Thursday, February 1, during the ongoing protest. Prof Shukla, who claims that the substance affected his vision, also lodged a complaint with Colonelganj police against four students involved in the incident.

University says…

The university, in a statement shared by Public Relations Officer (PRO) Jaya Kapoor, said that on Monday, a suspension and hostel eviction order was issued to the student Abhishek Gupta, after which he was called to the Proctor’s office.

“The eviction of students living illegally in SSL Hostel is being done, due to which, a few residents threatened to kill Assistant Superintendent Dr Atul Narayan Singh. Today, due to an incident of assault, suspension and hostel eviction orders were issued to Abhishek Gupta. In order to collect it, Abhishek Gupta came to the head registrar's office, misbehaved with the Assistant Superintendent and started threatening him,” the statement said in Hindi.

The university claimed that Abhishek has been plotting against the hostel and Assistant Superintendent Dr Atul Narayan Singh through a WhatsApp group called ‘Family’, screenshots of which were shared with the administration by a few students. This led to a suspension order against the student.

“After this, the post in-charge was called and he took Abhishek Gupta out of the proctor's office. There has been no assault by the proctor or any member of his team. The university has complete CCTV footage of Abhishek Gupta coming and going to the Proctor's office,” it was further added.

Meanwhile, the Allahabad University Teachers Association (AUTA) also shared a statement yesterday, February 2, saying that effective steps should be taken towards maintaining the academic environment of the university and that people with ‘criminal tendencies’ should be banned from the campus.

“All the teachers of the University, Registrar Prof. Ali strongly condemns the people involved in the incident of throwing a poisonous substance on Narendra Kumar Shukla and demands from the Police Commissioner, Police Commissionerate Prayagraj to arrest the accused within 48 hours and take legal action. In case this is not possible, all the teachers of the university will be bound to submit to the Police Commissioner's office,” the statement read.

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