Student gets molested in Banaras Hindu University; girls shave heads to protest

Three men allegedly molested and harassed a first year fine arts student of Banaras Hindu University at 6 pm outside her hostel on Thursday. The incident triggered large-scale protests by students against the university authorities for their alleged lack of action.

One of the victim’s friend recounted that on Thursday at 6 pm three men on a bike teased her friend and tried to block her way. They even tried to put their hands under her kurta. When the victim went to the proctor’s office to complain against the misconduct of the men. The proctor, in turn, went on to question the girl’s credibility. The varsity administration, instead of taking action, advised them not to venture out between six in the evening till morning. The chief proctor of the varsity also reportedly asked the girl to ”forget” about it as PM was going to be in the town.

The girls in her hostel, on learning about the authorities’ reaction, was shocked and staged a protest outside the VC’s office in the midnight while raising slogans against the BHU authorities.

The girls also received men’s support in their cause. Protesting students demanded strict action against the accused and security to women. They allege that the administration does very little to give women security. A protesting student said “Getting harassed is a very common thing in BHU. It happens almost every day.” It has been reported that many students drop out of college to avoid harassment.

Another girl said that the boys threw letters tied with stones on the windows of their rooms in the hostels. ”It has become very difficult to even walk in the evenings,” she remarked.

As mark of protest, some girl students got their heads shaved, to “desexualise” themselves. They felt that this is the only way to avoid harassment and eve-teasing.