BHU out of bounds for Teesta Setalvad?

In bid to prevent protests from snowballing over police brutality against girl students in BHU, UP Police detained HR activist Teesta Setalvad & wanted an undertaking that she would not visit BHU

NH Photo
NH Photo
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Bhasha Singh

Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday detained well known Human Rights activist Teesta Setalvad when she reached Varanasi in a morning flight. She was to participate in a training programme at Rajghat in Varanasi, a programme which was finalised two months ago, she told National Herald over phone.

But UP police whisked her to the Police Lines and informed her that they had received orders to detain her. She could be let off, they confided, if she would sign a bond giving an undertaking that she would not venture into the BHU.

Setalvad refused to sign any such bond on a point of principle. She maintained that as a citizen she was free to move around and visit any place she liked. She wanted to know under which law she was being detained but the policemen maintained a studied silence.

Four hours after her detention, she was told that she was being arrested. At the time of reporting it was not clear under which provision of the CrPC the police had restricted her movement.

The detention is said to be a precautionary measure to prevent protests spilling over at the policemen entering girls’ hostels at night and caning girl students in BHU late on Saturday evening. While BHU and all the colleges in Varanasi have been shut down and the BHU in a press statement declared the disturbances to have been engineered by political and anti-national forces, protests are snowballing.

Demonstrations, it was learnt, are taking place at both Varanasi as well as other cities even as an FIR has been filed against 1000 students for arson and vandalism. Teachers of a local college are said to be planning to take out processions against BHU students and in support of the BHU administration and the Vice Chancellor.

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