By Pinjra Tod:
On 22nd Nov 2015, a student broke her arm due to an accidental fall in Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University (RMLNLU) campus. When taken back to the Girls’ Hostel, she reached at 10:15 pm and was made to write multiple entries in the register and an application for why she was late. She was informed that the hostel timings had been decreased from 10:00 pm to 9:30 pm, that night itself (during the exams so students would be at the backfoot due to inability to rebel). After doing so, she was disallowed entry into the hostel and made to sit outside the gate, weeping in pain and demanding why this was being done. The guards claimed that the matron had taken the keys with her to make a routine walk around campus to ensure that all girls had been herded in by 9:30 pm.
The Assistant Warden was standing down the road, on whose instructions the keys had been retained. She had been approached at 10:40 pm by another student who had also been made to wait outside. She had to plead to the assistant warden to be let in, to study for an exam the next day, before the Assistant Warden permitted the guard to open the gates. The students had been locked outside the gate which meant that they missed dinner which is removed from the mess at 10 pm.
The injured woman student has been admitted in the hospital, with multiple fractures and had to undergo a minor surgery due to a delay in first aid and has a rod inserted in her arm. She has been served an expulsion notice from the Girls’ Hostel for not following Hostel Rules (by being late for a glaringly legitimate reason but has been dismissed by the administration as an ‘excuse’) and ‘misbehaving’ with the guards and matrons.
A few other girls who went to protest against this decision were informed by the Warden of Girls Hostel, that “you are victims of nature and need to be put inside” and sent away as this was “no cause for (their) concern.”
On the night of 24 November, girls and boys flooded the library and left at 10:00 pm which is the time the library closes, reached the hostel by 10:15 and made entries to prove that the decrease in timings are arbitrary and unreasonable. Moreover, the gym timings for girls is 5:30 am and the hostel timings for the morning are 6:30 am.
The reason for the decrease in timings, according to the the administration is because ‘bad things’ happen after 9:30 pm on the campus. Over the last three months, security cameras with night vision have been installed at every 20 metres in the university campus, twice the number of guards are found patrolling the campus and yet women students are imprisoned in their hostels under the garb of ‘security’ when it’s apparent that this is nothing short of moral policing. The boys on the other hand are allowed to roam freely in and outside campus and walk out at 3 am in the night.
Guards when patrolling at night, treat the women like criminals, making uncalled for comments if they are found walking around with friends of the opposite gender. Other such instances of chauvinism and unreasonable behaviour are abundant, which include the Chief Security Officer, who happens to be a retired Army Officer shockingly telling a girl who was waiting with a male friend inside campus at 10:30 for her cab to arrive as she had to leave for a competition, to “go outside the main gates and wait there for the cab if you’ve ordered one” and her friend was sent away.
Women students are hence protesting against the entire idea behind why they must be subjected to this inhuman and discriminatory treatment on the grounds of violation of their fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 21, 19 (1)(d), 21A; 38. Moreover, the right to freedom of speech and expression (Art 19(1)(a)) is also being curtailed. The Assistant Warden has threatened women protesting this gross injustice and told them that their marks will be affected – a standard intimidation tactic adopted by administrations across institutions when women raise their voices against institutional patriarchy.
The RMLNLU women students are going to be sitting in non violent protest till 10:30 pm every night, increasing their protest timing by 15 minutes every night till the Vice Chancellor, comes and speaks to them directly and grants their demands.
A wonderful video of the women protestors of RMLNLU confronting their Chief Warden about her sexist comment that women are “victims of nature and hence should be put inside”.#pinjratod
Posted by Pinjra Tod: Break the Hostel Locks on Thursday, 26 November 2015
The facts of this case could not be independently verified.
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