Published: 07th August 2018
'We are scared to go out of the hostel': Lack of permanent campus for TISS Hyd has put lives of students in jeopardy
The hostels are 4 apartment buildings in all, bang in the centre of a residential area
The students of TISS Hyderabad campus lodged a police complaint against a coconut vendor for harassment and misbehaviour at the Rajendranagar Police station. The incident is one such in a series of disturbing street harassment incidents that have been taking place in the vicinity of the new hostel campus of TISS in Attapur. The FIR registered under 354 (D) of IPC on stalking was registered by the police on Monday, August 7. "The accused was constantly inquiring about the students' nativity and their whereabouts and harassing them," informed G Suresh, SHO, Rajendranagar Police Station.
This is not the first time the students have raised the issue. Prior to this, the students had raised a complaint against the resident of an adjacent building who would appear nude to the students to harass. "Our enquiry found that the person was mentally unstable and counseled him," informed the inspector. The students have been taking to social media to voice their angst against the constant harassment they have been subjected to since the new hostel set upshifted to Attapur in June.
The hostels are 4 apartment buildings in all, bang in the centre of a residential area. In a graphic post that is doing the rounds on social media, the affected students describe how a man riding a Royal Enfield groped 3studentst last week and sped away, giving no room for the students to even react or note the number of the miscreant's. vehicle.
Taking serious cognizance of this situation, the police in lieu has taken multiple steps to mitigate the situation. "We have increased the patrolling in the area and plied 3 vans to make 2 rounds every morning and at least 2 trips totally in nights. Apart from this, we are also in touch with the administration and the private contractor who leased the hostel to affix two CCTV cameras outside the campus," informed Inspector Suresh.
At present, the hostel complex has only 3 cameras inside the apartments which are proving insufficient to curb the menace of street sexual harassment. The GHMC has also been roped in to improve the lighting in the area and nearby. "We are also pressing a dacoit team and She Team to go undercover and note the suspicious persons coming in the area. Whenever found we are putting in more counseling for such cases" added the police official.
The molestation of three girl students of TISS Hyderabad has left the student community rattled. But a closer look at the incident highlights how the lack of infrastructure is playing into putting the lives of these students in jeopardy. The TISS campus which was initially split at Gachibowli and Rajendranagar was recently put together in at the TSIPARD campus in Rajendra Nagar, but only for academic facilities like classrooms. For hostels, the TISS administration made arrangements for the students at Suleman Nagar, Chintalmet and Upperpally, accommodating more than 500 students at the place.
However being in a rented service apartment sort of structures which are located amidst residential areas, the student community has been feeling out of place and threatened."Our hostels are like 2 Bhk apartments and are in a complete residential area, if they put so many boys and girls in such a place, you can't expect the society to just open up their minds and accept you," says Pallavi, a student who lives in the area. What ensued are multiple instances of harassment since June.
From a drunkard groping students in front of the main gate, to the cat calls, to a mentally challenged person masturbating in front of the students, the 2 months in the new hostels has been nothing short of scary, say students who are forced to shuttle between their hostel in Attapur and campus in Rajendar nagar daily."When the issues began happening we told our administration to take some action and in turn, we had more police patrolling the place.
Which in a way did mitigate the problem, but then we had instances of police moral policing us that culturally this place can't accept boys and girls roaming around together," said a student who did not want to be quoted. It is being alleged that a police official schooled two students of opposite gender from sitting together and even took the male student away for an hour.
Once the police came in, the female students were also expected to come to the hostel by 7pm. At present, there are only 4 buildings where the students are housed, of this only 2 have CCTV cameras, and 1 guard each. "If that guard is not there at that moment, then anything can go wrong. We feel insecure even in broad daylight, and even to raise the issue with police because what if the miscreants opt to take revenge?" asks Sanjana Saxena another student.TISS Hyderabad students pay upto Rs 8700 as hostel fee for every month which is also on the higher side than the Mumbai and Guwahati campuses where it ranges at Rs 5000.
The students had a flash protest on July 2nd and are awaiting a response from the admin to their temporary demand for more CCTV cameras and guards and a permanent solution in form of a new campus.