Local gov't orders inquiry into police action on protesting women students in North India

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/26 10:57:45

Authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have ordered an inquiry into police action on women students at a leading university protesting against an alleged sexual assault and eve teasing.

The women students were beaten at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varasani. Outrage over the incident grew after video of police beating went viral on social networking sites.

The state's Governor Ram Naik Monday said a four-member committee under chairmanship of Chief Secretary has been set up to probe the incidents and action will be taken on the basis of report submitted by committee.

Meanwhile, the state's Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sought report from Varanasi Commissioner about police lathi charge on students and injuries to journalists during the incident.

Reports said three administrative and police officers were removed in connection with the incident.

The womens' hostel at the university has been shut until Oct 2.

Protests inside the university began on Thursday after students alleged that the university authorities ignored their complaints of sexual harassment.

The protests took ugly turn on Saturday when police resorted to baton-charging to chase dozens of students who had gathered outside the campus.

The recorded footage showed two policemen beating a female student with sticks after baton charging the crowd. No women officers were present. Two journalists were also injured in the police action.

Authorities have deployed large contingents of police in and around the campus to maintain peace and prevent further protests.

The incident has evoked widespread condemnation and opposition parties have started cornering the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) over the issue.

Meanwhile, protests against the incident were organized Monday at different parts of the Varanasi town. Reports said over 100 people were detained by police.

Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi Monday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the incident.

"The incident at BHU is BJP's version of "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" (save girl, educate girl). And, when they (girls) demand their rights, beat them up. This incident happened in the prime minister's constituency. Modi should apologize to the students of BHU and take immediate action," Gandhi told reporters in Gujarat, where he is on a three-day tour.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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