Published: 03rd March 2020
DU issues notice to female student for 'embarrassing hostel' by breaking locks after protest
The students had gone for a march to the VC's residence. But before they went it had started raining and they put the mattresses and beddings they were using for the sit-in inside
Pallavi Raj, a postgraduate student of Political Science at the Kirorimal College, Delhi University was issued a notice on March 2 for "indulging in such activities that have brought embarrassment to the hostel", asking her to focus on her studies and stay in the hostel peacefully. Pallavi was one of the protestors who were seen breaking a lock on the gates of the Undergraduate Hostel for Girls, their protest site on February 29. She replied to the letter saying that the Provost has no right to send a letter that accuses her without even issuing a show-cause letter and a hearing.
Pallavi, a resident of the North East Students' House for Women (NESHW) was issued the letter by the Provost of the house, Dr Rita Singh. "Before we delve into details of what happened we need to understand that the letter sent on March 2 was legally sound. If a student has done something wrong, they need to send a show-cause notice for that behaviour and let the student explain the situation. But this letter is just like an advisory that has already accused me of an act and is warning me against consequences," she added.
What happened on February 29 that the students had to break locks? The students had gone for a march to the VC's residence. But before they went it had started raining and they put the mattresses and bedding they were using for the sit-in inside so that it does not get wet. "The administration must have thought that we had given up and they took that time when we were at the march to lock the doors. When we came back we asked them to open it and they did not let us in. They had chained down the gates and locked it. Then we had no other way but to break the locks," said Pallavi.
The women who reside in Delhi University's hostels for undergraduate students have a curfew of 7.30 pm and those pursuing post-graduation have a deadline of 10 pm — the students of five of the six women's hostels of DU will be on an indefinite sit-in from 6 pm, February 27 at the DU Girls' Hostel Main Gate on Indira Vihar Road, Mukherjee Nagar. Amending the curfew timings of the girls' hostels is a long-standing demand but this is the first time that all the five hostels that house Indian students — Undergraduate Hostel for Girls, Ambedkar Ganguly Students House for Women, North Eastern Students House for Women, Rajeev Gandhi Hostel for Girls and University Hostel for Women — have come together to protest.