September 25 was a day everyone in Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, had been waiting for long. On this day, the students were finally able to hold a general body meeting (GBM) with the VC where Dr Sukh Pal Singh was to answer their questions and try to address their concerns. It was a culmination of at least a month long on and off protests by the students of the university where the demands ranged from ousting the Vice Chancellor to rolling back the curfew timings of female residents to having a more accessible campus for everyone.
The students of HNLU had been protesting since August 27 demanding abolition of hostel ‘in timings’ for women students, an extension of the library timings to 3:00 AM, and the removal of hostel wardens. Apart from that, the students have been opening up about instances of sexual harassment and moral policing done by the wardens and the faculty. One petition filed by a student against a professor was signed with support messages from 51 of her classmates, and yet the professor continues to teach at the University.
On August 27 itself, Chhattisgarh High Court ruled an extension to the VC’s tenure as illegal. The protesting students had since then been demanding VC’s removal when the Student Bar Association came to know Dr. Pal was planning an appeal against the order.
In the GBM, Dr Singh evaded most of the questions, like “not having enough time at the moment” when asked how he tackled the sexual harassment complaints submitted to him, whereupon the student body submitted a ‘No Confidence Motion’ to Singh and his administration and had decided to continue with their indefinite strike.
As of 1st October 2018, Dr Singh has resigned from the post of the Vice Chancellor due to student protests that lasted over a month.