Hyderabad: EFLU students resume protest donning masks, hoodies

Hyderabad: The students of English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) resumed their protest on Thursday, October 26. This comes despite the extended vacations announced by the university, in what the students have termed as an effort to suppress their agitation.

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Hyderabad: EFLU Women’s Collective says campus ‘unsafe’ for students

The EFLU students are protesting the university’s inaction over a complaint of sexual assault of a student amid protests for a SPARSH comittee on campus last week.

The EFLU students have now resumed protests donning masks and hoodies this time, 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 state 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.

NCW ‘s intervention comes after CPM Rajya Sabha MP Sivadasan approached the commission, demanding their support.

“It has been alleged that the incident happened against the backdrop of continuing protests by the students for reconstituting the hitherto inactive internal committee for gender sensitisation to deal with cases of sexual harassment on campus,” the letter read.

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.’

EFLU protests

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.