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Ayurveda doctor molested on BHU campus in Varanasi

US-based Indian ayurveda doctor was allegedly molested by five men on April 22 on the campus of the renowned Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

Dr Bhaswati Bhattacharya, who is pursuing her PhD in ayurveda at BHU, researching to find a cure for diabetes, still feels scared that she could have been turned into another Nirbhaya. But the Varanasi police seem to differ with the Kolkata-born Fulbright scholar on that thought.

Not acknowledging that she was in clear and present danger, they refused to file even an FIR in the case. The report was finally filed only on the ninth day of the incident, and that too after the intervention of senior police officers.

According to her, she was attacked by five persons around 7.45 pm on April 22 when she was taking a walk with a friend on the BHU campus around the agricultural farms near the IIT and material sciences department. "It was not strictly a case of mugging because though they took away my cell phone, they left my laptop behind. The five men came on to me and tried to rape me. I have had formal self-defence training and therefore I could fight back. Though I was injured, they could not rape me and ultimately fled the spot", Dr Bhattacharya said.

"The apathy of the system dawned upon me when the Lanka area's police, instead of filing an FIR, told me to keep my mouth shut. I kept going to the police station, but it didn't serve any purpose. After the SP finally intervened, I was subjected to a medical examination. To my horror, it was conducted by two male doctors and a woman police inspector. I somehow prepared myself for this agony too, reminding myself that it could be no worse than rape!", Dr Bhattacharya recalled. In an aside to this continuous suffering, she was also asked to read palms. "When the doctors discovered that I am a Brahmin and proficient in ayurveda, they forced me to read their palms and predict their future", Dr Bhattacharya added.

While she is trying to keep the incident behind her, Dr Bhattacharya blames Modi for his extravagant foreign focus rather than trying to first light a lamp in his own house. "Modi must remember that he is not the leader of just a section of the rich and powerful in India. He represents all, not just corporates and industrial houses. Rather than roaming the world and trying to get others to invest in India, he must make an effort to invest himself in his own country. We Indians are more important than FDI", she said.

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