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American PhD scholar alleges molestation at BHU campus

Varanasi: An American PhD scholar of Indian- origin has alleged has alleged that she was molested by five unknown persons on April 22 on the campus of the renowned Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

American PhD scholar Dr Bhaswati Bhattacharya
American PhD scholar Dr Bhaswati Bhattacharya

Complaint of Indian- origin, Dr Bhaswati Bhattacharya, who is pursuing her PhD in ayurveda at BHU was lodged after an intervention by a senior police officer, whom she had met on April 28, following which an FIR was registered on May 1.

Kolkata-born scholar, Bhattacharya alleged that earlier the police had refused to register the FIR. The incident took place on the evening of April 22.

According to the her complaint, five unknown men molested and attempted to rape her, while she was taking a walk near the Agriculture Department in the University campus. They also snatched her mobile phone and other belongings.

“This is what happens in Modi’s raj. One year of his prime ministership is drawing to a close and women are still as unsafe as they were under the Congress rule. I met Varanasi’s Superintendent of Police through a friend on April 28 and told him of my tribulation, but even then the police filed an FIR only on May 1,” Dr Bhattacharya told from New Jersey, US.

“It was not strictly a case of mugging because though they took away my cell phone, they left my laptop behind. The five men came on to me and tried to rape me. I have had formal self-defence training and therefore I could fight back. Though I was injured, they could not rape me and ultimately fled the spot,” Dr Bhattacharya said.

The apathy of the system dawned upon me when the Lanka area’s police, instead of filing an FIR, told me to keep my mouth shut. I kept going to the police station, but it didn’t serve any purpose. After the SSP finally intervened, I was subjected to a medical examination. To my horror, it was conducted by two male doctors and a woman police inspector. I somehow prepared myself for this agony too, reminding myself that it could be no worse than rape!” Dr Bhattacharya recalled.

A case of assault, voluntarily causing hurt and dacoity has been registered, said senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Jogendra Kumar.

Efforts are on to identify and nab the culprits, Kumar added.

The university could not be immediately reached for any comment.

Inputs with PTI and Mail To

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