BHU: Twelve students booked under murder charges for protesting against university’s Proctor

By Siddhant Mohan,

Twelve students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have been booked under various sections, including the charges of attempt to murder, for protesting against Prof. Royana Singh, the university’s Chief Proctor.

Support TwoCircles

The students named in the FIR are Mrityunjay Maurya, Vikas Singh, Shivangi Choubey, Mithilesh Kumar, Garima Yadav, Deepak Singh, Rajat Singh, Anup Kumar, Shashwat Upadhyay, Aparna, Parul Shukla, and Jay Maurya. The charges imposed on the students include the sections 147, 148, 353, 332, 427, 504, 307 and 395 of Indian Penal Code, based on the complaint raised by Proctor Royana Singh.

The issue dates back to September 2017, when the female students of Banaras Hindu University sat on protest demanding safety after one of the students was molested inside the campus and university’s proctorial board refused to take complaint at the moment.

Last week, Zee News came to BHU campus and aired manufactured reports from the university through its much-debated “DNA Test” which implied that there have been no issues or problems to the girls inside the university’s hostels. The reports aired by Zee News also gave a clean chit to Prof GC Tripathi, the then vice-chancellor of the university, over his “actions” taken during the September 2017 protests.

The reports quoted Prof Royana Singh that protesting girls were being given Pizza and soft drinks by “outsiders” during September protest. Singh was also quoted saying that “JNU people” were involved in instigating the protest.

University students belonging to Joint Action Committee (JAC) – a politico activity student group in BHU – went to Singh’s office on Thursday to ask her about the proof for her allegations. Divakar Singh, a member of JAC, told, “We were peacefully protesting but proctor did not come out to meet us. We wanted to ask her if she really meant that asking for girls’ security in the campus is an ‘outsider issue’. But she did not come.”

“There was a door glass which was painted with wooden colour giving false illusion of rge door being made of wood. When one of the members of JAC knocked on that part, it fell down,” added Divakar. However, BHU states that the students threw a paperweight to break the glass and hurt the people behind the door, which is why they are named under the section 307, charge which pertains to attempt to murder, a charge with students deny.

Prof Royana Singh told, “The students did try to hurt me and the members present behind the door. It was nothing accidental as they allege, it was purely intentional.”

“I stand by every word I said to Zee News. And I did not help them manufacture a report favoring BHU administration in the case, as the allegations are against me,” added Singh.

Shivangi Choubey, a graduate student in the university, is also named in the FIR filed on Thursday. Choubey has alleged that someone from the BHU administration, whose name she does not know, called up her parents and they are not talking to her anymore. She said, “My father is not talking to me now, and I had a hard time convincing my mother on the issue. They do not know about the FIR, I wonder what will happen when they will know that I have been implicated for attempting to murder someone.”

However, BHU administration denies the allegation that it has been calling students’ home. Another range of allegation against BHU is that in Thursday’s FIR, a couple of girls have been named who were not in the campus when the incident happened. One of such student Parul Shukla told, “I was active in the protest, and I do oppose Royana Singh’s version on the matter, but I was not present in BHU on Thursday. I came late night.”

Most of the students are busy in their semester’s examinations at this time of the month. One FIR, that too with section 307, is enough to pull them from their examination desk and put them behind the bars. One would expect a humanitarian approach to such problems, but as Sanjeev Mishra, the SO at Lanka Police Station, said, there is no humanitarian ground when dealing with “criminal cases”. However, police have assured that any action will be taken only after investigation and gathering proof.