Published: 31st October 2018
Panjab University students pull an all-nighter to protest against unfair curfew in women's hostels
Protestors led by the University's first woman president, Kanu Priya demanded 24 hours open hostel entry for women and held a sit-in protest in front of hostels 3 and 4
Demanding 24 hours open hostel entry for women, the left-leaning Student For Society (SFS) and Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) launched a sit-in protest on October 30 outside the women's hostel.
The protest led by the newly elected president, Kanu Priya saw a participation of more than 400 students, both boys and girls who raised slogans against the present curfew which allows girls to enter the premise till 11 pm while they cannot go out after 9 pm.
The students protested in front of the PU hostels three and four and more than 200 girls, some wearing their night clothes came out of the college hostel at 9.30 pm on Tuesday night in what they called a 'gate break' protest. The protestors then marched to hostels five and seven where Kanu Priya urged the student residents to join the protest.
The students have also taken to social media to garner more support from other students in the university. In a widely shared Facebook video, the students can be seen marching towards the hotels demanding an immediate response from the authorities.
On September 19, days before the mass protest, Kanu Priya claimed in a tweet that the authorities tried to thwart the protests by using force. In her tweet, she said, "SFS in strongest possible words condemns the attack on protesting students by authorities backed by SAP (Students’ Association of Punjab) goons. The goons had sharp weapons and even pelted stones on the students to terrorise them. Some students got injured as result of the attack."
Apart from the hostel curfew, Kanu Priya also highlighted other issues such as the installation of street lights in the campus and fairer administrative policies while allocating hostels for female students in a specially drafted demand charter. She also threatened to move the council office of the party to the protest site if the administration fails to respond to their requests quickly.