Published: 17th November 2023
“Will back any student fighting for what is right”: EFLU students' parents submit petition in HC; to file PIL next?
“These students are citizens fighting for justice, and I support them. I would back any student fighting for what is right, rational, and just, regardless of their ideology," says a parent
The parents of The English and Foreign Language University (EFLU) in Hyderabad submitted a writ petition at the Telangana High Court (HC) today, November 17. Their primary demands include the removal of police from the campus and the establishment of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to address the concerns raised by students. This initiative stems from the ongoing unrest following the sexual assault of a female student on October 18.
Expressing support for the students' pursuit of justice, one concerned parent, on the condition of anonymity, stated, "As a parent, I am only advocating for the laws of this country and the rights of individuals. These students are citizens fighting for justice, and I support them. I would back any student fighting for what is right, rational, and just, regardless of their ideology."
Parents argue that, beyond the controversial FIRs filed against students, there has been an enduring safety apprehension within the university premises. One parent, endorsing the petition, raised pointed questions about the efficacy of surveillance cameras on campus, remarking, "Not a single camera at the university recorded the crime. What are the cameras for? Monitoring students' actions?" The parents condemn the FIRs as an act of "victimising the victims" and criticised the institution for lacking basic decency towards students.
Of particular concern are the FIRs lodged against students for raising slogans such as "Inquilab Zindabad", "Azadi", "Sab Yadh Rakha Jayega", and allegedly "threatening the University and the Government". This move has been criticised as an attempt to stifle the voices of dissenting students. In response, the EFLU student body, via Twitter, dismissed the FIRs as "falsely lodged" and openly challenged vague statements contained in the Registrar's FIR.
Parents also brought attention to the inappropriate behaviour of professors, particularly the former proctor, T Samson. One parent expressed dismay, saying, "The proctor has been accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour multiple times. Plus, the faculty members who were supporting the students have also been named by the same proctor in the FIR for siding with the students.” The parents criticise the institution for its vindictive nature, stating it falls short of expectations for a university.
In a perplexing revelation, a parent questioned the stringent security measures at the university entrance, stating, “Parents are not allowed inside and this time they had to argue with the security for half an hour before they were let in. The security personnel filmed the parents as they entered. What is this? Why does this require so much scrutiny?”
Additionally, the parents informed that the Telangana High Court deemed the issue complex and suggested filing a public interest litigation (PIL). They plan to file it on Monday, November 20 after gathering more respondents. “The FIRs must be withdrawn, if not, we would take the legal course and we have already initiated that process,” concluded a parent.