Varanasi: IIT-BHU uproar after student molestation claim, Priyanka attacks PM over women's safety
Demanding better security arrangements on campus, thousands of students gathered in protest at the institute director’s office
Located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi, the Indian Institute of Technology-BHU (IIT-BHU) campus on Thursday witnessed massive protests after a student alleged that she had been molested on campus by three unidentified men, who forcibly kissed her, took off her clothes, and then recorded a video of her.
The alleged incident took place late on Wednesday night.
Demanding better security arrangements on campus, thousands of students gathered in protest at the institute director’s office.
A police case has been lodged against three unidentified men under sections 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.
In her complaint, the student said: "I am a resident of a hostel at IIT-BHU. On November 2 around 1.30 am, I left my hostel for a walk. I met a male friend. We were walking together, a motorcycle approached us from behind with three men.
"They parked their motorcycle and separated my friend and me. They shut my mouth tightly and took me to a corner, kissed me forcibly, and took off all my clothes, and recorded photos and videos. When I shouted for help, they threatened to kill me. They let me go after 10-15 minutes. When I ran towards my hostel, I heard the sound of the motorcycle. Then, I hid at the residence of a professor, who took me to the security officials."
Varanasi Police have initiated an investigation into the matter. Later, the IIT-BHU administration issued a notice saying "all barricades in the institute shall henceforth be closed from 10 pm to 5 am". The entry of outsiders has also been banned on campus.
Reacting to the incident, the UP Congress said, “This is the condition of a prestigious institute of the country. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath trumpets this law-and-order situation, where a girl student is molested inside the university."
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in a post on X: "Are BHU campuses and even top institutions like IITs not safe now? Is it no longer possible for a girl student in the prime minister's constituency to walk fearlessly inside her own educational institution?"
Abhay Singh, secretary of BJP's student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) unit at BHU, along with its members, joined the protest and called for the swift identification of the accused and the enforcement of strict legal action against them.
The IIT-BHU administration, meanwhile, has decided to implement a new security measure.