Published: 08th December 2017
UoH: Varsity coerces parents to give 'apology' letter, bans suspended students from hostel
The University had put the suspension on hold due to exams but after the executive meeting the authorities have decided to go ahead with the suspension
A couple of weeks ago the University of Hyderabad had a Rohit Vemula-level-protest when ten students were suspended from the hostel on the grounds of "indiscipline". However, after several appeals and due to nearing exams, the administration had put the suspension on hold and transferred the case to an executive committee. Last evening, the students were informed that the suspension will be reinstated.
Out of the ten students, three have been slapped with a two-year suspension. The other seven have been suspended from academic programme and hostels for a period of six weeks — which is a reduction from the seven months they were originally slapped with. In the notice issued by the management, the students have been advised to come back to the university after their suspension but warned that they will only be given back their seat only if "strictly abide" by the rules and regulation. However, the notice also adds that the students will only be considered for the academic programme and will not be allowed to come back to the hostels.
Parents told to give 'surety' letter
The administration has also contacted the families of the suspended students, sent them emails and asked them to submit a "representation letter" which essentially qualifies as an apology. The administration has told the parents that if they do submit a letter, they might reconsider the decision to suspend the students. The students are perturbed by this because all of them are of adult age and don't think it was necessary for the administration to harass their parents as well.
Serious warning: The notice that the administration issued to the students stating the conditions under which they can come back to campus
Next month will mark exactly two years since the day that Rohit Vemula committed suicide on campus due to reasons that included his suspension from the hostel. Today, students on campus are drawing a comparison between the two incidents.
The situation on campus initially began to get out of hand when the hostel wardens and security guards barged into a male student's room in the middle of the night to conduct a "raid". When they found that a girl was present inside the room, the wardens allegedly used sexist language and verbally abused the two, eventually "throwing" the female student out of the hostel. The incident led to spontaneous protests, the students accused the wardens of moral policing them but the administration ended up suspending the students for "misbehaving" with the wardens.
Suspensions: On again, off again, on again
In order to avoid any outbreak of protests, the administration was accused of using "excessive forces" and stationing police jeeps outside campus walls with armed cops. However, the administration decided to put the suspension on hold because the students in question appealed to the VC since their exams were coming up. In their notice to the students, the administration had also said that they would consider setting up co-end hostels if the "parents" think it would be right to do so. But things have certainly taken a different turn since then.
The Student Union has been campaigning for the suspension to be revoked but is not surprised at the results, "The administration simply wants to harass students. We have no other go except fight it," a student leader said.
The students also feel that the announcement of the suspension was cleverly made during the semester break so it will not lead to any protests, "This decision is definitely a warning to all students about how grave the punishment can get if we don't accept their injustices but everyone needs to know about what is happening inside this campus. The struggle will be long and hard but we're ready for it," he said.