Hyderabad: Protests at University of Hyderabad (UOH) after the administration asked students to vacate hostels by June 9 in view of Covid-19.
According to the circular issued on May 30, more than 50 boarders have already left for homes after relaxations were announced by the central and state governments.
The administration said the decision has been taken for the safety of the students and the university community. Chief Warden's office has decided to close down the mess by June 5 as a preventive measure against the possible spread of coronavirus.
UoH admin has instructed all the hostellers to make necessary arrangements to return to their homes at the earliest.
The boarders were also directed to visit the University website from time-to-time for further updates and seek necessary clearance before planing to return to the campus as per the final revised academic calendar.
Agitated students held a protest on Monday demanding unconditional rollback of the circular. The UoH Student Union has also called for a flash protest on Tuesday against the decision.
Students marched towards the administration block after Chief Warden didn't accept their demands. Later the administration called a meeting with the Students' Union. The Union clearly stated that their protest will only end when the circular will be revoked.
The administration has asked for time till Tuesday to review the matter. The Union has declared that they will protest to ensure that no student is forced to leave the campus. The Union has decided to go indefinite protests from Tuesday till the circular is revoked
According to the Students Union, several students in UoH are stranded at the campus hostel since March 24. Currently, over 300 students from different parts of the country are staying on campus.
Ayushya Singh, Secretary of SFI-UoH told NewsMeter that there are students who do not have proper quarantine facilities at home. “Many students are apprehensive of traveling in trains given the risk of infection. Universities cannot be so inhuman and force students to vacate. They need to listen to students. If the circular is not revoked by Tuesday, we will be forced to camp outside the admin block," Singh said.
Sumit Kumar Jha, a final year PG student residing at University hostel said he was afraid of going back home. “My family is quite huge. Even home quarantine is not possible. I don't want to risk my family. I have to submit my final thesis by June 10 and University has asked us to vacate by June 9," he said.
Jha noted that his family in Bihar has asked him not to come home given the situation. “I can't afford air travel to Bihar. And the train is not safe at all. So, I am requesting the university to allow the students to stay in the hostels," he said.
Students Union said most of the students are from areas that are now either a Red Zone or a Containment Zone. “Students belonging to economically and socially marginalized sections do not have sufficient facility for home-quarantine. This will not only put their lives at risk but also of their family members. Under these circumstances, this kind of circular puts immense psychological pressure on the students," the union said.
The Union has requested students to join the protest at Admin Block on Tuesday at 4 pm to resist forced eviction. Students have been asked to wear facemasks and take other precautions including physical distancing at the protest