Sudhanva Shetty Shetty
Writer, coffee-addict, likes folk music & long walks in the rain. Firmly believes that there's nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate.
Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (RMLNLU), Lucknow has been witness to a dismal state of affairs since the past six months.
Over a 100 students have taken the protest route to demand the resignation of four senior University officials, including the Vice Chancellor. They allege sexual harassment of female students and misuse of funds allocated for academic purposes by the college management.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, a student (who requested to remain anonymous) said that the recent incident of sexual harassment by two senior administrative officers of the institution has been the tipping point. “The Joint Registrar was caught filming male and female students on campus. When they objected to his conduct, he threatened to call up their parents and made false complaints about them being intoxicated and found in a compromising position. One them went on to threaten a female student saying he had a picture of her in his phone in an objectionable position. A petition alleging sexual harassment has been signed by 100 girls of the University.”
The Vice Chancellor, the students say, evaded all responsibility by pleading ignorance to all these instances and walked away saying he is not the authority to redress the said grievances or demand the resignations.
“First the sexual harassment against girls of the University. Second is misapplication of funds: funds allocated for academic purposes are being used for jogging tracks, gardening, etc. We have RTIs to prove the same. Rs 25 lakh was spent on gardening alone but we are not being given funds for our academic events.”
Following their protest, the Vice Chancellor reportedly promised an enquiry. “But that would demand that we reveal our identities. This investigation would be led by the head of the IT department, who is in charge of our degree certificates, he is in charge of mark sheets – we can’t just reveal our identities to him.”
Chief Minister Adityanath and the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court are the ex officio members of the General Council of the University.
“Tomorrow, we might be shifting somewhere else as we have to make ourselves heard to the CM. There is a metro inauguration tomorrow: we will probably stage our protest there. Otherwise, we will protest in front of the Vidhan Sabha.”
The protesters say they have lost all faith in the administration of the University. “Being law students, we believe in the sanctity and sacredness of rules and laws. If we as the future guardians of law do not fight for our rights, what is the hope for anybody in this country. Therefore, the student body is on an indefinite protest till all our demands are addressed and we’re brought to justice.”
Resignation is the only way forward, the students say.
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