A day after a scuffle broke out near the main gate of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) during a protest that was organised over the alleged molestation of a girl student on the campus four days ago, the Varanasi police have registered an FIR and booked 18 persons in connection with the clash.
The scuffle broke out between members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarti Parishad (ABVP), All India Students Association (AISA) and the Bhagat Singh Chatra Morcha (BCM). Police used “light force” to disperse the crowd.
On Monday, a 20-year-old woman, a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), registered a complaint gainst 17 named persons and one unidentified person, alleging that during the protest, “objectionable” slogans were raised and when confronted, the accused “verbally abused, assaulted and also used criminal force with intent to disrobe woman.”
The complainant alleged that the accused also made remarks targeting a particular community.
According to the FIR, the complainant said that on Sunday, she along with three others, including a woman, went to the protest site to seek justice for the victim in the November 2 molestation incident.
“We found that some outsiders were part of the protest and they were raising objectionable slogans. When we raised an objection, the accused attacked us,” the complainant told police.
She added that following “severe beating” she as well as her friend suffered leg fracture. She also claimed that the accused made “casteist” remarks to one of her friends.
A case was registered under IPC section 505 -2 (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes.), 147 (rioting), 354-B (Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe.), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt),504 ( Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace ), 506 (criminal intimidation). The police have also invoked SC/ST Act against the accused.
“No arrest has been made yet in the case registered on Monday,” said a senior police officer.
“The accused are members of AISA and BSM. They disrupted a peaceful protest,” alleged ABVP’s state media convenor Abhinav Mishra.
When contacted on Monday, BSM member Anupam Kumar said they were protesting near the University’s main gate. “On Sunday, we decided toprotest because even after three days, the police have failed to arrest the accused involved in the November 2 incident. While we were protesting, ABVP members reached the spot and attacked us. The police removed us from the protest site forcibly,” said Kumar, who is named in the FIR.
AISA’s national joint secretary Chanda Yadav, who has also been named in the FIR, alleged, “ABVP members arrived in large numbers and attacked us.”