“Police attacked all the female students sitting on dharna at the BHU main gate. There was chaos. They entered boys hostels and beat us up. We pelted stones in self-defence. Police used pellet guns, which left many students injured,” alleged Abhisheel, a law student.

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But BHU spokesperson Rajesh Singh denied reports of a lathicharge. “A group of students tried to enter the V-C lodge at midnight. Security personnel dispersed them,” he said.

However, Circle Officer, Sadar, Nivesh Katiyar admitted that the police used force and fired rubber pellets to disperse the students. He said the tension began at about 10.30 pm, when a group of students staged a protest outside the V-C’s residence. He claimed that as the students pelted stones, the policemen deployed outside the V-C’s residence forced them to leave.

“A few minutes later, more students arrived and began throwing stones,” said Katiyar, adding that the police personnel were targeted. He claimed that students set ablaze four vehicles, of which three belonged to the police, and damaged 15 other vehicles. Sub-Inspector Mahesh Mishra, in-charge of BHU’s police outpost, claimed that students threw petrol bombs from the terrace of their hostels. Banaras Hindu University, varanasi, BHU, BHU protest, BHU lathicharge, Benaras Hindu University.

Earlier On Thursday evening, an Arts Faculty student was allegedly harassed by three men on a motorcycle inside the campus while she was returning to her hostel. The student alleged that her warden, instead of taking up the issue with her superiors, asked her why was she was returning so late. The incident triggered protests by students over the lack of safety and alleged “victim shaming”.

Alleging inaction by the university administration, some students sought to meet the V-C on Saturday night. As news of the lathicharge spread, some students reportedly tried to break the lock outside the Triveni Women’s Hostel. They were allegedly beaten up by the police. The men’s hostels were also reportedly targeted by the police. Two journalists who were covering the incident were also injured. At least three vehicles were torched as the violence spiralled post-midnight.