Published: 28th May 2020
IIMC student allegedly sent a hostel eviction notice for offering water to batchmates, stoking COVID fear
The student allegedly offered water to his batchmates who had travelled to the institute for their online placements. But they were not allowed inside
It was an hour past his 48-hour deadline to vacate the Indian Institute of Mass Communication Hostel when Vishwajeet Singh spoke to us. He was expecting security guards to evict him from the hostel any moment. He did not have any backup and was clueless about where to go if he vacates the hostel.
A letter issued to Vishwajeet on May 26 says that he forcefully tried to admit two other students who had returned to Delhi from Rewari and Patna into the hostel. "When the hostel warden and caretaker persuaded him not to get involved in the matter, Vishwajeet Singh misbehaved with both of them. He tried to intervene on behalf of those students with the security staff," the letter reads.
But Vishwajeet had a different story to tell us. "Two of my batchmates, Hrishikesh and Rahul had come to IIMC from their homes in Patna and Rewari respectively. Now, the government norms would guide them to go on a 14-day quarantine and they are residents of the IIMC hostel. But, the institute refused to let them into their rooms and was refusing to take any responsibility," he says. "They had travelled such a long distance. On humanitarian grounds, the least we could do was give them some water to drink. But while I did that, the warden told me that I was putting the entire institute at risk and that I am spreading COVID. But I maintained a safe distance from both Hrishikesh and Rahul," he says. The other two students were also denied entry inside the campus.
The two students tell us that the institute was all set to begin its online placements on June 1 and that is why they wanted to come to the institute. "I did not have access to gadgets or a good internet connection. So, I thought I would come to the institute and attend the placements there," says Hrishikesh. "We were ready to undergo the 14-day quarantine inside our hostel rooms. However, the institute authorities weren't ready to listen to us," he says. Hrishikesh adds that a few other students are also planning to return to the institute to attend their placements and online job training, owing to the lack of technology and gadgets. "Vishwajeet only gave us a glass of water. Now where will he go in the middle of this crisis?" asks Hrishikesh.
Hailing from Jalandhar in Punjab, Vishwajeet says that it is impossible for him to travel now, considering the lack of options. "Also, it is risky for me to travel from one hotspot to another. My friends in Delhi are ready to take me in, but their landlords won't let them do it," he says. "My only request now to the institute is to extend the deadline until June 1, so that I can catch a bus when services resume," he says.
We tried to contact the institute's Assistant Director-General for a comment on the same. This copy will be updated once he responds.