Hyderabad: Citing Telangana Legislative Assembly elections scheduled on November 30, the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) postponed the elections to their students’ council.
The EFLU election was scheduled for next month but will now be conducted after the state Assembly polls.
Hyderabad: EFLU students resume protest donning masks, hoodies
In a circular issued late on Thursday, October 26, the university said, “Given the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) Elections in the Telangana State, where the University is located, the elections proposed to be conducted for the EFLU Students’ Council are postponed.”
However, the varsity’s decision received severe criticism from the students, who sought to know why the state Assembly election schedule announced on October 9 was not taken into consideration while announcing the students’ council elections scheduled on October 16.
Furthermore, the Fraternity Movement, EFLU demanded the varsity hold elections, including the representatives to the ICC as per the initial schedule.
“The university postponed students’ council elections right after the protest demanding a fair investigation of the sexual assault case, reconstitution of the SPARSH and resignation of the responsible authorities,” said EFLU’s Fraternity Movement.
Protest resumes at EFLU
On October 26, the students at EFLU resumed their protest despite the extended vacations announced by the university, in what the students have termed as an effort to suppress their agitation.
This time, they protested by donning masks and hoodies to avoid being identified and ‘targeted’ by the administration.
They feared their names appearing in the complaint list after the varsity’s Proctor Samson earlier filed a complaint with the cops against 11 protesting students.
NCW seeks report
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has directed Telangana DGP Anjani Kumar to conduct a ‘free and fair time-bound investigation’ into the alleged sexual assault case.
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma in her letter dated October 23, has asked for the submission of probe report within seven days of receiving the communique which is Monday, October 30.
While stating that appropriate action must be taken against the alleged accused, the NCW also mentioned allegations of university security staff handling students roughly during their protest and the administration attempting to ‘muzzle out their voices.’
On October 16, about 300 EFLU students held a protest for over 24 hours, demanding the reconstitution of the university’s Sensitisation, Prevention and Redressal of Sexual Harassment (SPARSH) committee.
Students said that the previous SPARSH committee, which was constituted under an EFLU ordinance based on the Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2013, had been defunct since June 2023.
Just a day after the protest, the incident of sexual assault took place on the night of October 18 at around 10 pm, which led to further protests against the administration by students on the night of October 19.
In response, the EFLU proctor filed a complaint against students with the Osmania University Police and 11 students were booked.
On October 26, the EFLU Women’s Collective (WC) said that the environment on the campus is unsafe for students and that inappropriate behaviour by professors was allowed by the administration.
However, the students asserted that they would decide their future course of action after waiting for the action by the authorities on the alleged sexual assault.