New Delhi: Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is on the boil again. On Wednesday, hundreds of students held a protest demonstration demanding the resignation of chief proctor Royana Singh for failing to ensure the safety of students, a day after a student was murdered in the campus.
On Tuesday, Gaurav Singh, an expelled second-year student of Master of Computer Application was reportedly shot dead by some unidentified assailants on a motorcycle when he was standing outside Birla Hostel. The police have lodged an FIR against four persons, including BHU’s chief proctor Royana Singh. Incidentally, the protesting students pointed out hat many lawsuits have been registered against the proctor in the past one-and-a-half years.
Meanwhile, the murdered student’s father has named four students along with the chief proctor of BHU, accusing them for plotting and executing the attack that led to his death. According to reports, the investigating officers said the assailants fired 10 bullets at Gaurav, three of which hit him in the stomach. His friends and some bystanders rushed him to the trauma centre inside the BHU campus where he succumbed around 1.30 a.m.
Speaking to Newsclick, Vivek Kumar, a student of political science at BHU said, "The incident took place at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency and shockingly, when the model code of conduct is in force. Now, the question arises as to where the weapons came from?”
Pointing out that the government had invested almost Rs10 crore on the proctorial team and the student was murdered inside campus varsity, Kumar said, “Aren’t both the university administration and proctorial team accountable? Not a single person from the administration has addressed the protesting students. Gaurav was shot at between 6:30-7 p.m and was died around 10 p.m but district administration informed us only at 2:30 in the night."
Raising questions on the chief proctor, Kumar said: "Since she has taken charge, incidents in the campus have been increasing. Till now she has not solved a single case. Every student knows that she indulges in groupism as well. No corner of the campus is safe for the us.”
Kumar also said that many students were claiming that those who have been accused of killing Gaurav, met the proctor a day before the incident took place.
Gaurav's friend Ashutosh Singh, a BHU student, told Newsclick, "Last December, Gaurav and I, along with various students held a 18-day dharna demanding removal of Royana Singh as chief proctor,” citing an incident when a retired Army personnel, who was posted as a guard, was slapped by chief proctor. “A video went viral on social media. Royana Singh is always behind every recent controversy in the university," he alleged.
Singh claimed that those accused of being involved killing Gaurav met at Royana Singh's chamber two days before the incident took place. “If she has denied that they were not BHU students, then why did she meet them inside the campus,” he said, adding that the four students who have been booked are Ashutosh Tripathi, Kumar Manglam, Rupesh Tiwari and Vinay Dwivedi. “Three have been arrested and Dwivedi is still absconding,” he added.
Newsclick tried to call Royana Singh but her phone was switched off.
When asked about Royana Singh’s name cropping up in the incident, BHU's Public Relation Officer told Newsclick, "BHU is a big campus and over one lakh people, including common persons, live inside the campus because of the hospital and temple. There are two-three common paths connected with other roads. We cannot stop anybody coming inside the campus anytime. Royana Singh is a lady who follows rules and regulations. The matter is a sub-judice and law will take its course."
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