Published: 21st August 2019
TISS-Hyderabad issues 28 notices to students, but some weren't even on campus, or protesting
On Tuesday evening, 28 students received show-cause notices and have been asked to submit their explanation, failing which 'appropriate action' would be taken against them
The TISS-Hyderabad administration has issued 28 show-cause notices to students who participated in the protests on campus that led to the closure of the institute. However, students say that some of the people named in the notice were not even present on campus during that time — leading to a lot of confusion. The students had protested the exorbitant fees hostel fees for the GoI students on campus and many SC, ST students had been contemplating dropping out of the course entirely because they were not able to pay the fees.
On Tuesday evening, 28 students received show-cause notices from the administration and have been told that 'appropriate' action would be taken against them. The administration mentions in the notice that students had been involved in the protests between July 8 to July 15. However, they are also being given the opportunity to give their explanation within ten days — by September 5. If no explanation is submitted, the administration has said that they will take appropriate action against them.
The students say they will submit their explanations by Thursday evening as they've already held a meeting about the notice. However, they feel that the notices are quite random, as the people who have been issued the notices haven't all even participated in the protests. "Some of those people who were at the forefront of the protests have not been given notices and some students who had little to do with the agitation have been served notices. There's also one person who was not even on campus those few days and they have also been given a notice, which is quite strange," said a student who also received the notice.
Till they have interacted with the administration, there's not much the students can do. "So we've just decided what we are going to say in our individual statements. The basic explanation will all be the same. Only after we submit our explanation would we be able to decide what to do next," the student said. The students also said that the notice has certain factual errors. Like they did in their sine-die notice, here too the administration has reiterated that they made all attempts to come up with a solution but the students still 'obstructed normal and peaceful movement into the campus.
The administration states the order of events from July 8 to the 14 and said, "It was noticed that even after the aforementioned efforts and repeated appeals made by the management committee to call off the strike, the entry of faculty, staff and students to the academic building as physically blocked by forming a huge human chain and preventing the functioning of classes." It also mentions that the students used barricades, flower pots and blocked the entrance.
However, the students said that there are errors in the administration's version of the events and will point out the same in their responses as well. But for now, they would be concentrating on putting together their explanation, "We are hearing that there are more students who might be receiving a notice as well, just this morning we heard there might be a 29th person. So we are waiting for the total number," the student added.
The TISS-Hyderabad protests had carried on for weeks and garnered nation-wide attention, but the administration shocked the academic world by abruptly shutting down the campus sine-die. The move was heavily criticised by academics, activists and the general public. Many demanded that the administration bring down the fees and ensure fairer treatment of the SC, ST students with regard to their accommodation and fees. On July 25, the campus was reopened but the students decided to protest passively and the campus fell relatively silent for the next few weeks. A case has also been registered in court by the students against the administration but the students haven't gotten a court hearing yet.