Students of Kolkata’s Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute began a protest on Tuesday against “draconian rules”, regular “threats of expulsion” and police involvement on campus. The protest started a day after 14 female students were expelled following weeks of confrontation with the administration, The Times of India reported on Monday.
The expulsion was because of the students’ anger over segregation of hostels of boys and girls, which the administration said was done to ensure the security of students.
In a statement on Facebook, the students’ body described the administration as “dictatorial” and exploitative. They have issued a list of demands, including better living conditions in hostels, lower fines, higher academic budgets commensurate with the increase in fees, and the setting up of a placement cell. They have also asked for police to be removed from campus and have alleged corruption among authorities.
“For the last 25 years, there was no rule regarding segregating male and female students in separate hostels...” an expelled student told IANS. “This rule was made overnight and also implemented overnight. Male students were shifted to one hostel and female students were asked to move to another part.”
“Segregating students is not the solution. This is ridiculous. They should deal with sexual harassment cases,” another student said.
Students said the institute has turned into a “highly undemocratic space” over the last few months.