Students of Hyderabad’s EFLU booked after protest over sexual assault

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: At least 11 students of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad have been booked by police after midnight protests over an alleged sexual assault on a woman student on the campus on Friday.

Police detained a few students after a massive protest which continued till early Friday. They were later let off.

There was a scuffle between the students and police during the protest.

Students alleged that police assaulted them to make way for Vice-Chancellor Suresh Kumar.

It was only around 3 a.m. that the VC was escorted out of the campus by the police after protestors had prevented him from leaving.

The protestors were demanding resignation of the VC, justice for the victim student and stringent action against the guilty.

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Hyderabad: Student sexually assaulted after EFLU protests for harassment committee

The student was sexually assaulted by two men on the campus on the night of October 18. Two students had found the victim on the campus and shifted her to University Health Centre.

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.

As the health centre officials allegedly discouraged the victim from making the incident of the assault public, students marched to the Proctor’s residence for a protest in the early hours of Thursday.

The victim later lodged a complaint with the Osmania University (OU) Police Station. The police shifted her to Bharosa Centre and recorded her statement.

Police said they were checking the CCTV footage of the campus to identify and nab the culprits. EFLU authorities claimed that they immediately responded to the incident. “The police officials of the jurisdiction have initiated investigation into the incident immediately,” the university said in a statement.

The University also stated ‘the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the University has immediately acted upon the incident and is rendering all reasonable assistance to the person in the matter required’.

Students, however, disputed the University’s claim that action was taken immediately. They said it took seven hours for the authorities to act. They also flayed the University authorities for trying to divert the attention to a pro-Palestine event that was to happen.

The University said in the statement that a proposed discussion on “Palestine: Perspective on Literary Resistance” was disallowed. It stated that the programme was planned by an organisation which has overtly communal background. It claimed that the denial of permission for the programme brought great displeasure to those who proposed to conduct it.

The students, however, pointed out that a protest for reconstitution of the SPARSH Committee was going on in the campus for 24 hours. The students said they would decide their future course of action after waiting for the action by the authorities on the sexual assault incident.

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