This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Tania Kar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

An EFLU Hyderabad Student Expresses Frustration Over ‘Unnecessary’ Police Intervention In Hostels

More from Tania Kar

By Tania Kar:

At around midnight on 16th October, I got a call informing me about police presence on campus. On coming in front of the Amrita Pritam International Women’s hostel, I was met with a fairly large crowd of students. Apparently, a man had been viewed inside the hostel by one of the residents. She had informed the security guards, and within no time two police men from the nearby Osmania Police Station had arrived on a motorcycle and went straight into the hostel to ‘investigate’. They were accompanied by Gohartaj Beguman, the caretaker of Amrita Pritam.

EFLU wikimapia
Image source: Wikimapia

This is not the first time that police from the nearby Osmania police station have graced the EFLU campus with their presence. Truckloads of police were sent on campus to manage ‘unrest’ among students on 20th August when a peaceful gathering was conducted by the students to show solidarity to the students’ movement in FTII. Police presence on a university campus is not only unwarranted but also disturbs the atmosphere of the space. In this particular case, it seemed to have created major resentment among the students, who had already had enough of their freedom being breached by the administration. Sreejith, a Masters scholar, questioned why policemen were allowed to enter a women’s hostel, while Ashfaq, a Bachelors student questioned the very presence of state police on campus. “We have a huge force of security guards, both male and female, on top of that we have many faculty living on the campus, and then of course there are the students. Why was our help not sought first?”, he stated. Moreover, the whole campus is under CCTV surveillance.

More concerned students gradually joined in the growing agitation, some taking the trouble to get down from their fourth floor rooms, on hearing that their fellow international students’ security had been breached. However, most of them were still very angry about the fact that police had to be called. By the time the crowd grew bigger, the police had left the building. Resentment among the students rose on knowing that the police had demanded entry into the women’s rooms on pretext of conducting a search for the trespasser. “On what grounds can policemen knock on women resident’s doors at twelve in the night? Why were no policewomen accompanying them in spite of knowing that the incident concerns a women’s hostel?” asked Ushosi, a B.A English student.

Amrita pritam hostel EFLU
A police officer, Mr. Mahender (in red t-shirt) and the security guards on duty at the entrance of Amrita Pritam Hostel. Image source: Tania Kar

The Head of Security personnel of EFLU soon arrived at the scene and students demanded to know on whose orders the police were called. Mr. Mahender, a police officer, ridiculously denied any knowledge of the whole incident. Apparently, no one knew who had called the police. The students decided to gherao (encircle) him and demanded an answer. After almost an hour trying to negotiate with students, a call was made to Sujatha Mukhri, Deputy Proctor and Warden of Amrita Pritam who resides on campus. She came down and tried to pacify the agitated students by publicly ‘scolding’ the Security Chief for letting police inside without informing her when the incident happened. She claimed that Gohartaj, the caretaker was the person in charge, who had already left the scene by then.

Repeated calls to Gohartaj’s phone went unanswered. However, the students were far from relenting. They were clearly agitated by repeated police interference in matters of the university and matters relating to them. They demanded an immediate enquiry into the night’s incidents and also proper action against the people found guilty.

Amrita Pritam Hostel EFLU 2
Students gather in front of Akka Mahadevi Hostel as Mr. Mahender had quickly taken refuge under the CCTV camera in front of this hostel on being confronted. Image source: Tania Kar

Such incidents only show the will of the University authorities to allow the state police to intrude in an academic space; instances of which are galore in the recent past throughout the country – Presidency University, Jadavpur University and Burdwan University in Bengal, FTII in Pune, Delhi University, and of course my own university. Such intrusion is only an expected move as we can recall the UGC guidelines for enhancing security in Higher education institutions. It is a concerted move to ensure that the university space is transformed from a space of organic learning producing intellectuals who can be mechanized individuals, abstaining from critical thinking, staying removed from politics, voicing their opinions in public and from participating in movements of resistance. In brief, the model of higher education is in a phase of radical transformation, where trained and disciplined subjects are to replace creative and hence troublemaking students. In accordance, the climate and space of the institutions are in need of reinforcements; boundary walls are to be raised, corridors to be armed with CCTVs and campus grounds to be patrolled by armed policemen; all in the name of welfare and security of the juvenile student who are yet to come of age and are in need of being disciplined. Hence in such spaces, as in the universities in my country, to have an opinion or to dissent is a cognizable crime which requires police intervention.

For us who are in the receiving end of this draconian law, we just have our independent spirits and slogans to hold on to. Student’s movements in the form of protests, sloganeering, strikes or gheraos are instruments by which issues are brought out in the open, crossing the high walls of the public universities.

Take campus conversations to the next level. Become a YKA Campus Correspondent today! Sign up here.

You can also subscribe to the Campus Watch Newsletter, here.

You must be to comment.

More from Tania Kar

Similar Posts

By Amrita

By Mohit Nimal

By Adnan Hamid

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below