Students Protest ‘Unlawful’ Move as Hyderabad Univ Suspends 10
Ten students of the University of Hyderabad were suspended on Wednesday, on account of them ‘preventing officials for discharging their duties’. Out of these, three students, Pratyush Nirjher, Atira Unni V (MA-sociology) and Sagnik Saha (PhD-history) have been suspended for a period of two years, while the remaining seven have been given a period of six months. Students will be holding a protest at the University from 2:30 pm onwards, contesting the charges upon which their suspension is being based.
The order for the suspension came from an independent inquiry committee that the current Vice Chancellor, Appa Rao Podile, constituted, stating that ten of the University’s students had been guilty of misconduct, physical and verbal assault and obstructing University officials from carrying forth their duties. This development took place on the basis of an event that took place on the campus on 3 November.
According to students that The Quint reached out, a group of about 50, a mix of the University wardens and security guards, barged into the boy’s hostel of the South Campus as part of a ‘surprise check’. During their inspection, they had found a female student in one of the rooms shared by two male students.
The trio were allegedly studying for the upcoming exams, when the group of wardens and security guards barged in and began to harass the three on account of there being a girl in the room, which apparently goes against University rules.
What set forth the standoff between the students and the warden was when the security guards allegedly threatened to take pictures and videos of the girl in the boy’s room and one of the wardens passed a disreputable comment by asking her if she “would only be satisfied if they allowed boys into the women’s hostel”.
As a result of this, most of the students of the hostel came out and protested against the wardens being inappropriate to the student in question and also against the nature of their seemingly ‘targeted’ surprise inspection.
However, as the students emphasised, there was no use of force or physical intimidation from the side of the students towards the officials in question, despite the inquiry committee alleging that the students had adopted a menacing verbal and physical response.
The students insist that this is not what happened.
The students were called in for their depositions on 6 November and by 8 November, a general notice was circulated stating the names of the 10 students who had been suspended.
According to the students, they weren’t even told the specific, individual charges that were carried against them.
Students also added that the way the inquiry and later the suspension process was being carried out, noted the distinctive change within the administration’s tactic from debates and talks, to one using more force.
Initially, 12 of the nearly 200 students present during the incident last Friday were selected to face suspension. Out of these, two were let off with Appreciation letters, while the other ten were suspended for different times.
To contest this verdict and the ‘undemocratic’ and ‘wrongful’ way the inquiry process was carried out, the students will be holding a protest on the campus grounds starting from 2:30 pm on Friday, 10 November.
More updates are awaited.