Varanasi, November 8, 2023: Students of IIT-BHU demonstrated after three unidentified men allegedly molested a female student on the campus on Wednesday night.
Outraged by the incident, the students abandoned their classes, protesting the compromised security of the students. They demanded a ban on outsiders and urged for the installation of a wall separating the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus. The IIT-BHU campus falls within the larger BHU campus, considered one of Asia’s largest residential campuses.
According to the victim's complaint, she was assaulted while she was out with a friend on Wednesday night. The victim reported that, at a location approximately 300–400 meters from the Karman Baba temple, three men on motorcycles forcibly separated her from her friend. The accused then dragged her to a corner, forcibly kissed her, stripped her, filmed, and took pictures. They detained her for 15–20 minutes before releasing her.
In fear of a repeat, the student sought refuge in a nearby professor’s residence after hearing the motorcycles. The professor alerted the Parliament Security Committee, which then safely escorted the victim. An FIR has been registered under Section 354 (assault of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the student body, this was not the first incident on campus. They have consistently raised concerns about the security on campus. The protests continued until late hours on Thursday, with demands for increased infrastructure, restrictions on outsiders, and immediate legal action on these incidents.
In response to these demands, the BHU Registrar stated, "The institute shall actively pursue with the Ministry of Education and the University administration for the creation of a closed campus with restricted entry". Security measures have been enhanced, and additional CCTV cameras will be soon installed on the campus. Student movements will also be restricted between 10 PM and 5 AM.
The police are currently conducting a joint investigation with the university administration to apprehend the accused and ensure campus safety.
Edited by: Sri Soudamini Konka
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