by IANS | Tue, Nov 07, 2023, 11:17 AM
Hyderabad, Nov (IANS) Several students of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) were detained by Hyderabad police on Monday to foil their planned indefinite hunger strike to demand justice for victim of a sexual assault.
Police stopped the protesting students outside the main gate of the campus.
As students tried to make their way into campus, police used force to stop them.
The protestors including women students were bundled into police vehicles and were whisked away to the Osmania University Police Station.
The students had planned an indefinite hunger strike demanding justice for sexual assault victim, the Vice Chancellor’s resignation, and withdrawal of FIRs against students.
The EFLU Students Community had also given a call for boycott of classes.
Later, NSUI leaders were also detained by the police when they tried to stage a protest in support of the students. Led by Telangana NSUI President Venkat Balmoor, they tried to enter the campus but were stopped and detained by the police.
A girl student told media persons that they were illegally detained and manhandled by police officers when they had gathered peacefully for a hunger strike.
"Our crime is supposedly demanding justice for the victim of sexual assault that happened on the campus almost 20 days ago," she said.
The student also stated that the university does not have internal complaints committee with student representatives to deal with cases of sexual assault. She appealed to all student bodies and political parties to back their protest for their just demands.
Earlier, the campus was rocked by huge protests after a female student was sexually assaulted by two men on the campus on the night of October 18. The victim stated that two men pulled her hair from behind and told her ‘we saw you at the frontline of the protest. This should not happen’.
The victim had participated in a protest on the campus demanding the University to constitute SPARSH (Sensitisation, Prevention and Redressal of Sexual Harassment) committee through elections. Students took strong exception to remarks by university officials describing it as a small incident. The victim later lodged a complaint with the Osmania University Police Station.
Following the protests on the campus on October 19, police had registered a case against 11 students for allegedly promoting enmity and inciting violence.
On October 23, the National Commission for Women had written to Telangana DGP Anjani Kumar to conduct a free and fair time bound investigation into the incident of sexual and physical assault of a girl student on the campus by two unknown assailants. The DGP was also requested to probe the allegations that the EFLU security personnel roughly handled the students during their protest.
The commission gave the direction on a complaint by CPI-M Rajya Sabha member V. Sivadasan from Kerala. On November 1, the Osmania University police registered another case against four students for wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, and atrocities against persons with disabilities. The case was registered on a complaint by a professor.