BHU ragging victim threatens suicide, 4 held

Four students of the Benaras Hindu University who are accused of ragging a physically challenged student have been arrested.

Lucknow: Four students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi have been arrested, one year after they assaulted and stripped a physically challenged youth and forced him to perform obscene acts that were even filmed by them, police said Friday.

The arrests came after the affected student, a native of Bihar, threatened to commit suicide if no action was taken against the four.

"Ashish Gautam, Grijesh Tiwari, Mohit Shukla and Anuj Lal were arrested late Thursday after the varsity authorities registered a case against them," police inspector Mohan Yadav told reporters in Varanasi, some 300 km from Lucknow.

The BHU administration moved into action nearly one year after the victim, Ankit Upadhyay (name changed), a student of B.Com. second year, registered the complaint of ragging in October 2009.

According to sources, BHU officials got the case registered against the four students only after Upadhyay -- who had left for his native place, Buxar in Bihar, after allegedly being tortured by the students -- returned this year and submitted copies of a letter Sep 9, 2010, to the university that he would commit suicide if action was not taken against the offending students.

Upadhyay has already lost one academic year due to his short attendance as he left for Buxar after allegedly being assaulted by the four students.

"Of the four students, two (Grijesh Tiwari, Mohit Shukla) were my batchmates at the time of the incident. The two along with other senior students, including Ashsih Gautam and Anuj Lal, took me to a house and physically abused me," Upadhyay told reporters in Varanasi Friday.
"They even stripped me and forced me to perform obscene acts, which they recorded on their mobile phones and later circulated to other students in the varsity, but still no action was taken against them. Thereafter, I decided to run away to my native place," he said.

However, after being advised by his family that he should continue his studies, Upadhyay returned to the BHU in February this year.

"I again approached my faculty head to take action against the students, but was told that nothing could be done as it was an old case. As the students continued to harass me, I stated in a letter to the varsity authorities that I would commit suicide," said Upadhyay.
When contacted, BHU`s chief proctor H.C.S. Rathore, told IANS, "Yes, it definitely needs to be probed why the action was not taken in 2009 when the student had registered the complaint."

"We have initiated an enquiry in this regard. Stringent action would be taken against all those who had assaulted Upadhyay," he added.


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