The recent outrage at Banaras Hindu University following the molestation of a girl student inside the campus by three people on a bike, the university has been under scrutiny of the media as well as the Government. Needless to say, a lot of dirt which was buried in the age-old university has been uncovered.
After the Vice Chancellor of the institute gave some rather controversial statements regarding the incident of molestation in the university campus, it turns out the faculty of the university contains a sexual offender.
Dr O P Upadhyay, the Medical Superintendent of the Sir Sunderlal Hospital, had been convicted of sexual harassment by a Fiji Court before his appointment in BHU. The matter came to light after a member of the Executive Council objected to his appointment when the VC, Girish Chandra Tripathi, insisted that his appointment be regularised.
Indian Express accessed the records of the 21-year-old girl’s statement in court regarding the case of sexual assault against the doctor. The victim in her statement in Nasinu in January 2013 said,
“He (Upadhyay) held my hand and insisted I should see the house. When we reached his room, he said I should come and sleep in his room. It was in Indian Hindi. He held my shoulder… rubbed my thighs… and kissed my cheek again.”
Upadhyay was found guilty of “indecent assault” of the incident which took place on 25 August 2012 when he was serving as Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor of Fiji National University in Fiji.
When enquired about the charges against him, Upadhyay told Indian Express,
“The university (BHU) had taken legal opinion in my matter and it was decided that the decision of a court abroad does not hold good in our country.
Hence, I was interviewed and selected by the selection committee. I was on study leave (in Fiji). It was a case of extortion and because I resisted, I was falsely accused.”
According to Fiji records, Upadhyay filed an appeal for his acquittal through his counsel in the High Court of Fiji at Suva on grounds of his punishment being too harsh and excessive in all circumstances of the case. However, the High Court refused their appeal saying that the punishment of eighteen months imprisonment was justified as the court had followed all the procedures.
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Upadhyay was handed the charge as the Medical Superintendent in April 2016, after returning to India and was granted additional access in lieu of him being the most senior chief medical officer in the university.
The BHU incident sparked an uproar among students and brought to light numerous other incidents that were earlier kept under wraps by the university including a faculty who was found guilty of sexual assault. In light of new evidences, the question is how safe are the students in the university campus?