Published: 01st November 2018
After being evicted for sexual harassment complaints against Prof, Symbiosis Law students shocked by 'doctored' videos of them on social media
Apoorva and Snigdha had been suspended from SLS Hyderabad and made to leave the hostels on October 26 for speaking out against the college authorities
The news about the eviction of two female students, Apoorva YK and Snigdha Jayakrishnan, from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad on October 26 has shocked the public, who have been sharing their discontent on social media since then. The students were appalled to find several doctored videos of them misbehaving with the college staff being circulated on social media post their eviction. They suspect the management is behind this.
Several media reports stated that Apoorva and Snigdha, both fourth-year BA LLB students at Symbiosis, were suspended for having spoken out against Assistant Professor Srinivas Methuku on Facebook and accusing him of 'constant ogling and causing discomfort'.
April 1: Two students write to women and child welfare ministry about institutional mismanagement of sexual harassment complaints in campus
May 2: SLS registrar MS Shejul responds saying that Prof. Srinivas Methuku was reprimanded for ogling and causing discomfort
October 13: Pooja Malhan calls students
October 15: ICC was constituted and eight students deposed against Prof Methuku
October 25: Dean Shashikala Gurpur tells students that they will be rusticated
October 26: Action initiated, the duo asked to vacate campus
The students told us an even more interesting story that might provide a brand new angle to the entire scenario. "On October 29 we were told that we can write two of our exams as we had above 65 per cent attendance in those subjects. We are not being allowed to enter the campus after our eviction and they gave us two different centres. We were asked to leave with all our belongings and vacate in just two hours. After our exams got over on Thursday, we were informed that the eviction was an interim action but the disciplinary committee's decision is not out yet. They told my parents that I am suspended for at least a year and they told Apoorva's parents that she was rusticated. However, officially we don't know anything yet," explains Snigdha.
Watch the video here:
What surprises Snigdha and Apoorva is that there have been a number of videos circulating on social media which show and state that they were never the victim of any such case and over the past two years they have been involved in various acts of 'misconduct' — they 'misbehaved' with the security guards, hostel warden and administration staff at the hostel. The videos involve CCTV footage of the students, in what looks like a conflict with the security personnel.
Apoorva and Snigdha suspect that these footages have been made available to people by the college authorities.
I really don't know who created these, but if the administration did, then are they even allowed to do such a thing? Provide such information to the public on a social media platform? There is this statement of truth that you would likely see in the video accusing us of misbehaving with them and thus leading to our rustication.
Snigdha Jayakrishnan, evicted student
One of the videos obtained by Edex, states that one of them severely resisted eviction and falsely accused one of the members of manhandling her. The video also claims that the whole controversy of sexual harassment was just their way of expressing their wrath towards the college. "Their eviction has nothing to do with their baseless claims of sexual harassment. The entire show was just to malign the image of the institute," states the video.
Snigdha says they have been speaking to lawyers and have approached the Human Rights Commission of Telangana as well. "Beyond this, we are not sure what is in store for us, we had our exams so we didn't have much time. We plan to consult lawyers and take this forward," she adds.
The two girls had written a complaint letter on April 1 to the National Commission for Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resources Development and the State Women’s Commission about institutional mismanagement of sexual harassment complaints.
"The concerns we raised are still valid and as far as we know, the university has not sent the ICC report to the ministry even after repeated follow-up emails. The hostility of the committee I sat before six months ago, as well as the action of the institution on the issue of sexual harassment despite repeated complaints, makes it clear that this process is not going to be fair and just," their Facebook post stated.
They were also asked to take down the post from their Facebook pages. Now, several people on social media who had taken a screenshot of the posts, are sharing it and urging others to do the same. Apoorva and Snigdha had been rusticated from SLS Hyderabad and made to leave the hostels on October 26 for speaking out against the college authorities with respect to sexual harassment.