Skip to main content

Modi "knew" of police attack on Banaras girl students, violence was preceded by varsity's 'private security': NAPM

By Our Representative
One of India's biggest civil rights networks of India, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi very much knew of the Banaras Hindu University girl students' demonstration and the police lathicharge on them well in advance, suggesting he did nothing to stop it.
In a statement issued in Delhi in the wake of the lathicharge, which saw injury to several girls, followed by FIR against more than 1,000 of them, NAPM said, "It would be naive to assume that the Prime Minister, in whose constituency the university is situated, was neither aware of the students' protest when he was in the town, nor of the ruthless lathicharge which took place, soon after he left Banaras."
The statement, which said that Modi's "regular route was in fact changed, to avoid his interface with the protestors at BHU", comes amidst frantic attempts to what are being seen as efforts to plant stories in the media that Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were "unhappy" over the way the Adityanath Yogi government handled the demonstration.
Strongly condemning what it called "state repression", NAPM called the police crackdown "cowardly and indefensible", insisting, the girl students were merely "seeking a university space with equal rights for women and freedom from sexual harassment and violence".
"That the long-standing and quite simple demands of the students were not being addressed and in fact survivors of sexual harassment were repeatedly being shamed by the male proctors, even as the identified perpetrators were being allowed to go scot-free, compelled the students to embark on a peaceful mass protest in the wake of relentless incidents of sexual harassment on the campus", the statement said.
According to NAPM, "Instead of engaging in a dialogue with the agitating students and resolving their basic and genuine grievances, the university authorities led by the vice chancellor at the behest of the state government chose to physically brutalize the students, late into the night and again on the next day, by unlawfully unleashing a rabid male police force on women students."
Signed among others by Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, and tens of other activists, the statement said, "We have learnt from credible sources that the vice chancellor and proctors allowed a group of ‘private security’ inside the campus, who were the first to unleash violence on students, before the police struck."
NAPM said, protests happened as girl students objected to "actions such as limiting library hours, early closure of college gates, curbs on late-evening usage of mobile phones by women students, embargo on serving of non-vegetarian food, coercing students to sign affidavits not to participate in political activity", adding, all of it "reeks of the patriarchal and regressive mindset of the BHU vice chancellor."
The statement said, "We completely endorse the demands of the young women students for effective mechanisms and systems in place to seriously and empathetically address grievances / complaints, especially that of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination and violence, in line with the Vishakha Guidelines of the Supreme Court and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013."
"These mechanisms must be formed with the active involvement of the women students, women faculty and well-known, credible and committed women civil society activists", the civil rights organisation insisted,adding, it is part of the larger design to " saffronize" universities, as seen in what had happened in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and earlier in the Hyderabad Central University.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.