Varanasi/New Delhi, Oct 2: BHU Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi, under fire for his alleged mishandling of student protests last month, proceeded on indefinite leave citing personal reasons. Tripathi, who is scheduled to retire on November 30, has gone on "indefinite leave", BHU officials said.
The development comes amid indications from top HRD ministry sources that the central government was upset with the manner in which he handled the entire episode, including a protest by women students of BHU following an incident of alleged harassment. However, HRD officials maintained that the ministry has not asked Tripathi to go on leave and it was a "personal decision".
The Banaras Hindu University VC had told PTI last week that he "will resign if the ministry asks him to proceed on leave as it will be insulting for him". However, calls and messages to Tripathi about his next move did not elicit any response.
According to norms, if the university head goes on leave, the Rector will act as the head and, in the Rector's absence, the varsity Registrar will assume charge as the VC. Tripathi's replacement, till he is on leave, has to be decided by the HRD ministry. The ministry has already put out an advertisment seeking applications for the post of his successor.
Last month, a number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a baton-charge by the police after a protest against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent in BHU, one of the 43 central universities in the country.
Tripathi had earlier said that the violence was fanned by "rumour mongering" and "outsiders". The varsity's Chief Proctor O N Singh had also resigned, taking "moral responsibility" for the campus violence. His resignation had paved the way for appointment of the first woman proctor at the university. A former professor of Allahabad University, Tripathi was appointed as the BHU VC in 2014 for a three-year tenure.