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BHU students continue protest, Muslim prof feels ‘insulted’

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Sanskrit Scholar Firoze Khan

Varanasi, Nov 20 : The students’ protest against the appointment of a Muslim professor in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) entered its 14th day on Wednesday with the students refusing to give up on their demand.

The BHU administration continues to maintain that the appointment of professor Feroz Khan is in accordance with the prescribed norms and there is no question of his removal.

The BHU administration has issued a statement, saying, “The idea behind the establishment of the university was to contribute in nation-building by providing equal opportunity of study and teaching to all deserving people without any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender and sect.”

The statement also said that Khan’s appointment was a unanimous decision made by a selection committee under a transparent process.

The Muslim professor Feroz Kahn, meanwhile, said that he felt ‘insulted’ by the incident and added that he would have never applied for the job if the university had mentioned in the advertisement that they did not want a Muslim.

Students sitting on dharna, on the other hand, have started reciting Hanuman Chalisa to underline their opposition to a Muslim faculty member.

Chakrapani Ojha, a student leader leading the protest since November 7, said: “The appointment of a Muslim faculty member has hurt the sentiments of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya who established the BHU. This appointment has been made as part of a conspiracy. The entire process, including the interview, was rigged in favour of Feroz Khan. The stone inscription installed in BHU clearly states that no non-Hindu can either study or teach in our department. Then why was a Muslim professor appointed in the faculty?”

The university spokesman Rajesh Singh said that there is no stone inscription on the premises that says non-Hindus cannot study or teach in BHU.

Shubham Tiwari, another student leader, said, “In this department, there are no teachers, all are our gurus. Everyone keeps a ‘choti’ on their head, we touch their feet and participate in ‘havan’ which is a regular ritual. If a Muslim professor is accorded a place in the department, then he will not be able to perform rituals and teach us our dharma.”

Umakant Chaturvedi, the head of the department, said that the deadlock continued and no classes were being held in the Sanskrit department.

Sources said that some faculty members in the department were instigating protest and provoking students.

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Mamata visits Kolkata market, enquire about onion price

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Mamata Banerjee in Onion Market

Kolkata, Dec 9 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited a prominent south Kolkata market and quizzed the vegetable seller and stockist about the exorbitant price of onions, now being sold between Rs 130 and Rs 140 a kilogram to retail customers.

Banerjee, who was onway to Kharagpur in West Midnapore district, stopped her convoy and went to Jadu Babu’s Market at Bhowanipore close to her Kaligrhat residence.

She first spoke to a number of retail sellers.

“Didi (‘elder sister’ as Banerjee is affectionately called) asked me at what price I was selling onions. When I said I am selling the bulb around Rs 130 and Rs 140 a kg, she asked me at what price I was buying it. I informed her I was buying it at Rs 120 a kg from the stockist,” said a seller Shila Roy.

Banerjee then asked her to name the stockist.

On knowing his name, Banerjee summoned him and asked him at what price he was selling it to the retailers. After the stockist said he was getting a price of Rs 120 a kilo, the Chief Minister wanted to know why the rate was so high when the state government was selling the vegetable at Rs 59 a kilo.

“Dal me kuch kala hai (something is wrong),” Banerjee said.

She then spoke to other onion sellers in the market.

In the wake of the devastating blaze that took the lives of 43 workers at a bag factory in Delhi, Banerjee instructed the market authorities to ensure that plastic sheets being used atop the stalls be removed.

Sometime after Banerjee left the market, police officers arrived there and started preparing a list of those trading in onions.

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29 sex workers rescued from spa, saloon in Kolkata; 30 held

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INDIA (West Bengal - Calcutta) -Sex workers waiting for customers at Munsigaunge red light area in Kolkata .- Arindam Mukherjee

Kolkata, Dec 9 : Thirty persons, including brothel managers, pimps and customers, were arrested after 29 sex workers were rescued by the Kolkata Police during simultaneous raids at two beauty parlours and two other premises in the city, an officer said on Monday.

The raids were carried out in the southern and central part of Kolkata by the anti-human trafficking unit of the city police on Saturday night, Joint Commissioner (crime) Murlidhar Sharma said.

Eight persons, including the brothel manager, were arrested and seven sex workers were removed from a third floor flat on Prince Anwar Shah Road under Jadavpur police station.

Nine customers, 10 sex workers, one manager and two pimps were found during a raid and search at the Sweet & Shower Family Saloon and Spa on Bhagwan Mahavir Sarani under Bhawanipore police station. A brothel was being operated from the spa.

The sex workers were removed as victims and the others were taken into custody.

During the third raid, two customers, the brothel owner and the manager were arrested from the first floor of a Rashbehari Avenue premises under Gariahat police station. Six sex workers were removed.

The police also raided the Guys and Dolls Beauty Parlour, which was also being used as a brothel, in central Kolkata’s Mirza Galib Street under New Market police station and arrested the brothel manager, two pimps and three customers. Six sex workers were removed.

Cases under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and relevant sections of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act have been lodged against the accused in the respective police stations.

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Another Unnao molestation victim contests UP police stand

The FIR further mentions the same accused had made an attempt to rape the woman on September 17, and a case about that was also pending.

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woman attack rape

Lucknow, Dec 9 : Unnerved by the surge in rape complaints and the police apathy, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh seems to have gone into a denial mode.

The government spokesman here on Monday denied an Unnao woman’s allegation that the police refused to lodge her complaint, and said the FIR had been filed. He also released an unsigned FIR copy.

According to reports, the woman had gone to the Bihar police station in the Unnao district to lodge a complaint against some men who had attempted to molest her. She was told by the cops: “Rape toh hua nahi, jab hoga tab aana (Rape has not happened, come when it happens)”.

It happened on September 29 and the woman related her tale of woes to reporters who had gone to the Hindupur village on Saturday to report upon rape victim who was set ablaze by accused.

According to the FIR released by the government, the complaint was registered by the Bihar police on November 6. It’s also mentioned in the FIR that the woman had lodged two complaints regarding molestation attempts on September 30 and October 10, and the Superintendent of Police had asked the Bihar police to investigate the case and take action.

The Bihar police, instead, lodged a case of disruption of peace against the accused and closed the case.

The FIR further mentions the same accused had made an attempt to rape the woman on September 17, and a case about that was also pending.

The woman told IANS on Monday, none of the accused had been arrested.

“The police took me to a magistrate on November 6 and recorded my statement. After that they left me at my home. I was not given any copy of the FIR. I don’t even know whether it had been registered or not. I asked Station House Officer (SHO) Ajay Kumar Tripathi when the accused would be arrested, he said there would be no arrest. These men are absconding now,” she said on the phone.

SHO Tripathi was suspended by the government on the Sunday night.

The woman said she and her family were under constant threat from the accused who are apparently powerful.

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