Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar
Our university, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), in Hyderabad, has withheld the results of 40 students, due to which many of us have found it difficult to get admissions and jobs.
To protest is our democratic right. We protested against the mess fee hike, and if we closed the campus gates, does this give them the right to play with our careers?
The university also knows that the students studying here come from humble backgrounds, and that they are not very financially sound.
"At MANUU, mess bill usually comes between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,300 per month. But in May, the bill came to around Rs 3,000, because of which students started protesting. The criteria to get a hostel is that the student should hold a BPL (Below Poverty Line) card. We get only Rs 3,000-3,500 from our parents, from which we pay Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,200. And with the remaining money, we manage stationery and other monthly expenses. The sudden rise in the mess bill was a shock to us and shook our monthly budget."Student, MAANUU
Since we couldn't afford the mess bill, we staged a protest on 6 and 7 June, during which the university gate was closed, which might have created problems for the staff members' entry and exit.
We had ended the protest on the assurance that the university would look into the issue. Contrary to what we expected, the university formed a fact-finding committee and found 40 students guilty of the protest that happened in June, and we were issued notices with punishments.
"They showed us a report issued by the fact-finding committee, in which they have punished students under 3-4 categories. In one of the categories, students have been fined Rs 5,000. They have been barred from taking readmission at the university. They have been evicted from the hostel. And they will never be allowed to contest (student union) elections in the future. They will have to submit an undertaking and they will be given a warning from the university."Student, MANUU
As many as 20 students have been prohibited from contesting any student union elections in the future, out of which 10 have been barred from taking readmission at the university for three years.
Such harsh punishments? What is our fault? We were only protesting against the mess bill. The university is playing with our careers.
MANUU's Response to The Quint
In response to the queries raised by The Quint on behalf of the students, the MANUU says, "The hostel mess is being maintained by the student's committee. All purchases and audits of the bill are also done by the students themselves. University administration has no role in finalising the mess menu and also the bills. Hence, the protest done by the students was not legal."
Speaking to The Quint, Prof. Mohammed Abdul Azeem, the proctor of the university, said, "Students were not punished merely for the protest that took place on June 6 and 7 but a symbolic action was taken for their illegal and immoral act of closing the main gate of the campus, which forced hundreds of teachers, officials, students, and even national seminar delegates to stand on the road for hours under the scorching sun."
(The story was initially published on 6 September and has been updated after receiving a response from the Maulana Azad National Urdu University.)
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)