Hyderabad: EFLU Replaces Proctor Who Filed FIR Against Protesting Students

This comes a day after at least EFLU seven students in Hyderabad were detained as they launched a hunger strike.

Hindi Female

(Trigger warning: Mentions of sexual assault.)

The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, which has been witnessing massive student protests since October over inaction against the alleged sexual assault of a student, removed its Proctor Professor T Samson on Tuesday, 7 November, with immediate effect, a circular accessed by The Quint stated.

Who is the new Proctor of EFLU? Samson has been replaced by Professor T Srivani, Head of the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, School of European Languages.

"Approval has been accorded for the appointment of Prof. T. Srivani, Head. Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, School of European Languages as the Proctor at the University in place of Professor T Samson, for a period of one year, with immediate effect, consequent upon his request," the circular read.

And then? On Thursday, 9 November, the university issued another notification, calling for applications for the post of vice-chancellor, which is currently occupied by Prof E Suresh Kumar.

What happened? Both these moves come nearly two weeks after the OU City Police, based on the complaint of Prof Samson, booked at least 11 EFLU students for purportedly staging protests demanding action against the alleged sexual assault of a student in campus on 18 October.

Soon after the incident, protests broke out in EFLU and students gathered at the residence of the proctor demanding action.

In his First Information Report (FIR) accessed by The Quint, Prof Samson alleged that on 19 October, a group of 200 students assembled in front of his university quarters "with some pre-meditated plan to harm me."

He claimed the 11 students led this protest by "provoking" other students. They were booked under Sections 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot) and 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), among others, of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In his complaint, the proctor alleged the protesters "insulted him and the officials of the University, including the Registrar I/c. Deputy Proctors and the Vice Chancellor ... alleging that there was an assault on a woman student" and that "the University administration failed to provide the security to the students."

On 23 October, EFLU's faculty issued a statement condemning statements made by Samson and demanded the withdrawal of the FIR.


What are the demands of the students? The students have been demanding the arrest of the culprits of sexual assault and the withdrawal of the "wrongful FIRs and show cause notices against students."

They also demanded that the EFLU administration reconstitute the "ICC with elected student representatives, strictly in accordance with UGC regulations, and without administrative members, especially those who have shown their inability to handle such a case sensitively and responsibly."

The students had further sought the removal of the proctorial board as well as the resignation of the vice-chancellor.

How did EFLU respond?

On 3 November, in a letter addressed to the students, the Vice Chancellor of EFLU, Prof E Suresh Kumar, said that the "Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the University conducted the inquiry [into the sexual assault case] and submitted its report with a recommendation to forward their findings to the police for investigation into the matter, in the absence of any specific information about the identity of the alleged culprits."

"As the Vice Chancellor of the University, I am vested with adequate academic, administrative, and disciplinary powers, which are only executed upon the investigation, recommendations, and findings by specific governing committees, University Officials, Statutory Officers, and designated officials. If the university is compelled to invoke these powers, it is purely in the larger interest of the University [sic]."

What happened on 6 November?

On Monday, 6 November least detained seven EFLU students were detained by the Telangana police after they tried to launch a hunger strike as against the administration's "continued apathy towards students' concerns and the extremely repressive measures employed to curb dissent on campus."

In addition to the seven EFLU students and 20 University of Hyderabad students who were detained, three former students of EFLU and eight people from progressive organisations were also detained.

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Topics:  Hyderabad   Sexual Assault 

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