Sunday, December 3, 2023

Banaras Hindu University: Dalit prof alleges assault, molestation by colleagues, students

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Varanasi Police have registered a case following a complaint from a Dalit assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). The complaint alleges that the senior faculty was subjected to assault, molestation, and humiliation within her department by two colleagues, one of whom is a woman, as well as two students.

She claimed that despite the incident occurring on May 22, the police declined to file the case until August 27, Indian Express reported. “I lodged several complaints at the police station and to other officials concerned. The FIR was lodged only after I wrote to the HRD Ministry, SC and ST Commission, and the Chief Minister’s Office,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

The complainant alleged that the accused “regularly talked about stripping her and making her do rounds of the university.”

“In continuation to this, on May 22 around 2 pm, one of them came to my chamber and said that he will get me removed from my post and kill me. I came out of my chamber and then the other accused shut the door of the department. One of the men held me and tried to do inappropriate things with me after tearing my clothes. The other one recorded it. The others kicked and punched me,” read her complaint.

“Some people came after I shouted and rescued me. I am attaching CCTV footage along with this complaint,” she added.

“I am being targeted because I am Dalit. The whole issue is over my refusal to remove someone from his post. They were putting pressure on me and I refused. Then they did this,” she said to Indian Express.

The FIR against the four was lodged under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and under various provisions of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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