Young women protest against campus sexual harassment at Banaras Hindu University. Photo: Firstpost

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has its first female chief proctor following the departure on Thursday of ON Singh, who resigned over violent incidents on campus last week during protests against rampant sexual harassment.

Soon after taking up the post at the university in Varanasi, Uttar Praesh, Royana Singh said that there should not be any restrictions on dress and alcohol for female students at BHU, or a ban on non-vegetarian food in the messes, Times of India reported.

She said, “I was born in Europe. I frequently travel to Europe and Canada. Putting a dressing restriction on girls would be like imposing it on myself. You start your day at 6 am and end at 10.30pm, and if you still can’t wear what you feel comfortable in, then it is a shame in this era. I find it strange when boys use the words ‘skimpily clad’. If a girl feels comfortable in what she wears, what’s their objection?”

Meanwhile, ANI reported that Singh said her main challenge would be to maintain discipline on the campus, adding that the administration was in the process of meeting the security demands made by female students. She reportedly said, “The vice-chancellor has been very sensitive to female issues. He has zero tolerance to such activities. Our retired justice is conducting the probe in this matter. We will take action as soon as we get the report.”

According to reports, Singh further said she would be introducing a range of stringent measures against “eve-teasing” (sexual harassment), rowdy behavior and ostentatious displays of. wealth at the university.

She said, “Girls can move anywhere and at any time. As a chairperson of grievance cell until recently, I have taken up such issues and addressed them to restore the dignity of women.”

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