The students of The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad are continuing their protests and indefinite hunger strike amid the appointment of a new proctor and Education Ministry notification for appointment of a new vice-chancellor for the varsity. “Even though few of our demands are being met, we won’t step back until all our demands are met,” said a representative from the Student Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Today, November 9, the indefinite hunger strike entered its fourth day and it is reported that one among the five who are on indefinite hunger strike has backed out due to health issues. “One student suffered from hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) and hence, another student has taken over,” the student shared.
The student said that initially, on the evening of November 8, two representatives: Provost Dr C Vipin Kumar and Deputy Proctor Vamshi Krishna BM were sent by the administration to discuss the possibility of dialogue. “Due to the failing health of one participant of our indefinite strike (who, after being administered an IV drip, broke her fast), the new proctor addressed us and promised a meeting,” the student disclosed.
Demands for the meet
The students’ collective has voted for four demands under which the meeting can be held. They are:
1. The administration makes themselves known at Gate 2 for a public address of demands; no student representatives shall be sent and the administration needs to address them all together.
2. A meeting in the Conference Hall at the New Academic Building with a slightly smaller audience sitting inside and the remaining gathered outside the hall. This too has been voted on to avoid the power imbalance created in a closed-door meeting and to ensure transparency between the administration and the students.
3. The student body will, in the event the above two conditions are turned down, agree to a closed-door meeting with five student representatives (instead of the three suggested by the administration delegation that communicated to them today, November 8) as long as the entirety of the meeting is recorded and the recording is made available to the students as well
The student from the JAC told EdexLive that the proctor has agreed to a meeting today, November 9, however, the information for the same hasn’t been passed on yet.
Problems with the health centre
In a statement released by the student community today, November 9, they highlighted the incompetence of the EFLU medical staff of the Health Centre.
“The students were also assured by the doctor present that the health centre would provide the necessary support. Despite this, there was no further initiative by the health centre and students had to repeatedly request them to monitor the vitals of the students on hunger strike at regular intervals and were time and again ignored,” it read.
To recall, a female student was sexually assaulted on campus on the night of October 18 when three unidentified men sexually assaulted her. Meanwhile, the police investigation is still underway.