UoH students protest against casteist, transphobic violence on campus

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: University of Hyderabad (UoH) students had a protest in front of the administration building on Tuesday, February 27, demanding prosecution of people who allegedly set clothes of two transgender women afire. The students are affiliated to Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA).

They protesting students alleged it was an act of intentional casteism and transphobic violence. The ASA General Secretary Hritik Lalan, a transgender Dalit woman, and her roommate Tikku, also a transgender woman, found their clothes burned inside hostel.

Hrithik Lalan told reporters: “This is a clear instance of ragging. It is transphobic and a caste atrocity. My roommate Tikku and I had put out clothes to dry in the Men’s K-Hostel, where we stay, on February 24. In the morning, we heard a few students discussing setting the clothes ablaze. We later found out that someone has deliberately singled out our clothes and burnt them.” 

She said that since she was elected to the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), also known as the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), there have been significant incidents of transphobia on campus. In her statement, she claimed that she had submitted a complaint to the administration against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABPV) for assault, but no action was taken.

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When Hrithik and Sabari Girija Ranjan, the president of the ASA, attempted to engage with the freshmen in September 2023, they alleged that they were violently attacked by a female ABVP member. The students claimed that the university refused to acknowledge the need for a safe area for transgender people despite their repeated protests.

“We demand a policy for the safety of the trans community in the university. While the administration doors remain shut during protests, the Dean of Student Welfare (DSW) met us and said they will discuss the matter. We have submitted a complaint against the latest transphobic harassment that took place on Monday,” Hrithik said.

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