The Students Collective of the English and Foreign Language University (EFLU), Hyderabad released a ‘fact-check’ statement, on Tuesday, November 7, against the allegations made by the administration regarding the detention of the students.
This comes a day after the administration had allegedly addressed the protesting students who wanted their demands to be addressed and wanted the administration to claim accountability for the events taking place in the university, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.
On Monday, November 6, the students at EFLU launched a hunger strike to demand justice for the survivor who was assaulted recently on the campus and the constitution of a committee to address cases of sexual harassment with students’ representation.
Later in the evening, the university had released a statement to the media clarifying their stance but the students, countering the narrative of the administration, have released a statement. Listed below are the statements made by the university versus the students.
1) Admin: The senior administrative functionaries of the EFLU on Monday interacted with the protesting students at the Main Gate, where they were staging a protest asking them to call off their protest.
Students Collective: The EFLU administration addressed the students only after their attempt at using police officers to dismantle the protest failed miserably. The proctor and the registrar did not appeal “fervently”; instead, they were repeating the same rhetoric they have been saying for the last three weeks.
2) Admin: The students’ demand regarding the arrest of culprits is not in the hands of the university as the police are thoroughly investigating the incident.
Students Collective: The arrest of the culprits is not the only demand that the students have asked for. Ensuring a fair investigation, repealing the false FIRs (First Information Reports) and show cause notices issued to students, the resignation of the proctorial board that downplayed the incident, resignation of the VC (Vice-Chancellor), immediate ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) elections and the removal of Annexure 5 are some of the other demands that have not been addressed so far. The fact that the administration went on to state that “the survivor could not give any clue to identify the culprits to the ICC”, displays their incompetence and apathy towards the issue.
3) Admin: With regard to the composition of the ICC, the students claim that the chairperson holding the post of the Dean is not correct.
Students Collective: This narrative of the admin that the chairperson of ICC not holding the position of Dean or HoD (Head of Department) at the time of appointment is new to the students since, to the best of our knowledge, it had not been the case. It was when the students raised concern about this fact, that the admin removed the ICC chairperson from the position of Dean. Also, it is still a grave issue that the Deputy DSW (Dean of Students’ Welfare) remains a member of the ICC, which, again, goes against the UGC (University Grants Commission) guidelines.
4) Admin: Elections would be held after the completion of the Legislative Assembly elections in Telangana. Definitely, elected student representatives would be inducted into the ICC.
Students Collective: The postponement of elections by the admin is their strategy to hold it off until the student protests are over. It is, in fact, another instance of them sabotaging democratic political practices on campus. As the proctor’s infamous snide remark goes, “democracy can wait” on campus.
5) Admin: On one hand students are saying that there was no CCTV covering the area of the alleged offence and on the other hand a few say that surveillance has increased on the campus.
Students Collective: Despite having 300 security guards and 150 cameras to cover 30 acres, the police were still incompetent in identifying the perpetrators. At the same time, they used the CCTV footage to identify the protesting students and to issue FIRs and show causes. This clearly shows that CCTV cameras are solely here to witch hunt and penalise students and not for the student’s safety.
6) Admin: With regard to the allegations of restrictions on students’ mobility and access to campus spaces, the university administration states that it is completely false.
Students Collective: Every single day, some students or the other are disturbed by the security who ask them to leave from the place where they are sitting. We have several videos and photographs to show how the students’ freedom to mobility and freedom to assemble has been obstructed by the security.
7) Admin: With regard to the parents writing to the VC, as reported, the university has not received any such letter so far.
Students Collective: We have clear evidence of the mail they sent to the administration on Sunday, November 5 at 6.56 pm. Throughout these years, the administration has refused to accept grievance letters from concerned students on various issues. The ICC also has a history of refusing sexual harassment complaints against professors.