BHU to relax curfew timings for girls

Panel begins probe into lathicharge

October 03, 2017 10:47 pm | Updated October 05, 2017 12:18 pm IST - VARANASI

 Students arriving on the Banaras Hindu University on Tuesday

Students arriving on the Banaras Hindu University on Tuesday

After a sustained movement, there could soon be good news for girls in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) as the varsity is likely to relax their hostel curfew timings. The varsity resumed classes on Tuesday after a vacation break, which was advanced by three days due to the turmoil on the campus after protests over alleged molestation of a woman student turned violent.

Senior administrative sources in the BHU told The Hindu that a proposal was in motion to extend the hostel outdoor timings from 8 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. for girls’ hostels. Inmates of girls’ hostels have been demanding equal curfew timings, arguing that the 10 p.m. deadline for boys was discriminatory and arbitrary. In addition, the girls would be provided a half-an-hour grace period under special circumstances, which means the timing for boys and girls would be relatively at par. It must be noted that not all hostels, especially those in the medical department, face restrictions.

The Varanasi administration has assured the varsity that the new timings for girls would be “safe,” a senior BHU official said.

Consensus reached

The administrative wardens and Dean of Students would meet in the next couple of days to discuss the change in rules, over which “a consensus” had already been reached.

“The point has come for girls to feel that they are not trapped in time restrictions. They should not feel like they are in a jail,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the high-power probe committee of retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice V.K. Dikshit started investigation and has appealed to students, professors, journalists who are witness to the lathicharge to submit their written statements.

80% attendance

Classes at the Central University resumed on Tuesday with around 80% of hostel inmates and students back on campus, said proctor Shraddha Singh.

BHU chief proctor Royana Singh, at the front of the change, said the varsity was taking steps to make the campus safer and has so far installed 68 cameras on campus, including 24 at the six entrances.

The varsity has also deployed quick reaction teams on the campus to react to molestation and eve-teasing cases. Ms. Singh claimed the response was good so far.

“Last evening, a girl alerted the QRT that three boys were lurking in the bushes near her hostel and called for help. The QRT acted on it and was able to identify the boys,” she said.

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