Women’s Day: Student leader allegedly faces harassment, appeals for help

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah

Allahabad, Mar 7: As we are all set to celebrate the International Women's Day on Tuesday (March 8), a student leader from Allahabad, who is allegedly facing harassment, has appealed to the nation to help her. 

In a letter addressed to the nation, Richa Singh, the president of the Allahabad University Students' Union (AUSU), has sought help from the media, students' communities, the civil society and concerned citizens to get justice.

Richa Singh is president of Allahabad University Students Union

Last year, Richa made history when she was appointed as the president of the AUSU - the first woman candidate since Independence.

"This is an appeal for help-- to the media, fellow students across the country, the civil society and concerned citizens. Since I have assumed office as the president of Allahabad University Students' Union in October 2015, the university authorities have harassed me repeatedly," writes Richa.

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Richa alleges that she and her female friends were physically attacked on the university campus.

"I have raised questions about the appointment of an OSD by the new vice-chancellor. I questioned why the VC has appointed someone who has been accused of sexual harassment and caste-based discrimination? In November last year, when I opposed the visit of Yogi Adityanath from the BJP for the inauguration of the students union on the grounds that he is communal, our non-violent protest was disrupted. I, along with other female students were physically attacked and harassed on the university campus on the night of November 19, 2015 in the presence of the proctor of the university," she writes.

Richa says the VC is yet to take any action against the accused, who allegedly abused her.

"Despite the fact that I sent a complaint to the VC, the university administration has not yet constituted any inquiry committee or initiated any action against the culprits. The proctor continues to hold his post. He was yet to be questioned on the issue," the student leader says.

"The harassment continues in various forms. They are trying to question the validity of my admission. I took admission almost two years ago in the university. I have been admitted here as a PhD scholar. Why are they questioning the validity of my admission all of a sudden now? I fear that they will find some false grounds to cancel my admission and hence remove me from the post of the president of the AUSU. These are all attempts to silence me. I request you to carry my voice forward and build pressure on the university administration to be accountable," says Richa.

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