The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Tuesday has suspended classes till the 28th of September and ordered at least five of its hostels to be vacated within 24 hours following violence and arson in the campus late at night.
As per reports, the violence was a consequence of a dispute over treatment at Sir Sunder Lal (SSL) hospital of BHU. Following the dispute, clashes erupted between the students and resident doctors on the campus, injuring several people. Reportedly, former BHU student Shivajit Kumar had taken his relative to SSL for treatment but the doctors refused to admit the patient. An altercation then broke out between Shivajit and a resident doctor following which students who came out in support of Shivajit torched a security booth on campus. The clash with junior doctors followed later at night.
According to reports, Shivajit has been booked under various sections of the IPC. “Shivajit has been booked under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC,” said Lanka Inspector Bharat Bhushan Tiwari.
The Hospital administration stated that a crisis team had been created to ensure that services were provided as smoothly as possible. “The OPD and emergency services continued to function normally as per schedule. A crisis management group of doctors was constituted to handle the situation and maintain smooth functioning of the hospital,” medical superintendent of SSL Hospital Prof. Vijay Nath Mishra said.
Students are now protesting against the administration’s decision to vacate the hostels. ANI quoted one of the protesters saying, “We want hostels back. There is a video of Chief Proctor instigating students for violence. We demand her dismissal and an inquiry to be set up.”