Protests at The English Foreign Language University (EFLU), Hyderabad continue and the students are facing the brunt of the charges levelled against them. The university has filed 15 FIRs (First Investigation Report) against students in 17 days.
The protest began on October 20 in response to the alleged physical and sexual assault of one of the students on campus. Although the reason for the FIR against 11 students was unclear, the students allege that the FIR was lodged in an arbitrary manner. Additionally, on November 3, another FIR was lodged against four students.
Speaking about the same, a student, whose name was mentioned in the second series of FIRs filed, told EdexLive on the condition of anonymity that the students are considering getting a station bail (41A CRPC) or anticipatory bail and are speaking to their lawyers to understand what are their best options. Additionally, he said that the students were engaged in the protest staged at the academic block today, November 4. As a part of the protest, today’s classes were also boycotted.
“In between 6 to 6.30 pm today, a general body meeting is scheduled to be held where matters related to FIR, the inappropriateness of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and other matters will be discussed,” he told EdexLive.
The student is one among four who were charged with Section 92(a) (atrocities against persons with disabilities) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.
To recall, on November 3, Assistant Professor Y Suresh Babu, who is visually impaired, alleged that students threatened and prevented him from leaving the administration block after his work hours.
The student informed EdexLive that the professor was not patient till a decision was made by the students. “We were in conversation about whether to let him through or not and were in the process of clearing the block, which took some time. However, the professor immediately alleged that we threatened him. In fact, it was the guards’ duty to take care of him.”
New CCTV cameras
In another concern, the student community of EFLU has posted on Instagram about new CCTV surveillance cameras being fixed on the campus. A PhD scholar, “We are being filmed on campus without our permission”
Adding more to this, the student said, “The administration is setting up CCTV cameras at various places where students meet. This is deliberately being done to keep an eye on students’ actions.”
Guards as police
The student community has also highlighted that individuals, who are supposedly guards, are impersonating policemen on campus. However, this is not new as per the students. The PhD scholar said, “The head of the security department is always seen impersonating policemen while performing his day-to-day duties.” Additionally, she claimed that the university is aware of this.
On the other hand, the student claims, “Two guards are masquerading as police, dressed in Khaki uniform, and walk around in the university. Although it is still unclear whether they are actually security guards.”
Amidst all these, the students are being intimidated not to take part in the protests being staged. “I was threatened by my supervisor not to be seen at the forefront of the protest or protesting in sight of Vice-Chancellor E Suresh Kumar,” said a PhD scholar who wished to remain anonymous. Additionally, “An environment of fear prevails at EFLU while students’ career is being threatened,” he added.