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UP: Lucknow University Students Protest Against ‘Discriminatory’ Night-Out Rules

According to a notice, the ‘varsity administration has prohibited movement of male students to and from hostels after 10 p.m while girls are not allowed to venture out after 8 p.m.
Lucnow University

Representational use only.

Lucknow: Students from several girls’ hostels in Lucknow University have raised their voices against what they call ‘discriminatory’ hostel rules. Many girl students said they were unhappy with the varsity’s decision and are demanding that the same rules be implemented at boys’ and girls’ hostels. 

The restrictions by the administration on no ‘outings’ after 10 p.m for boys and 8 p.m for girls in hostels have been imposed after an incident where a group of Lucknow University students allegedly indulged in a clash with cops.

Allegedly, a group of Subhas Hostel inmates went out late at night for tea at the university's canteen on December 17 where they entered into a brawl with cops who apparently objected to students gathering there. The students alleged that the cops hit them after they failed to show their identity cards, as a result of which a few students got injured.

As per the university notice which came into effect on December 17, the administration has prohibited the movement of male students to and from hostels after 10 p.m while the girls are not allowed to venture out after 8 p.m. "It is applicable to both girls and boys," said the university’s chief proctor Rakesh Dwivedi in an order.

"It is informed to the resident students of all the boys hostels located in Ubhay campus of Lucknow University that coming out of the hostel after 10.00 pm is strictly prohibited. Similarly, it is informed to the inmates of all the girl’s hostels located in Ubhay campus that coming out of the hostel after 8 pm is completely prohibited,” read the official notice of Lucknow University.

Lucknow University

"Therefore, it is informed to all the resident students located in the Ubhay campus of Lucknow University, that they should try to ensure compliance with the above arrangement. If any student is found violating the said system, strict disciplinary action will be taken against them as per rules,” the notice further reads. 

Expressing anger over the notice, Megha Singh, a Lucknow University student told NewsClick: The university’s decision is discriminatory. Instead of beefing up its security, the officials are prohibiting us from going outside the hostel after 8 p.m and boys after 10 p.m. The same rules should apply to boys and girls. Furthermore, if one has to study late at night at the library or work on any project what will they do after 8 p.m? It’s like they are not considering women as adults. They constantly infantilise us, saying we can’t take care of ourselves."

Supriya, another student, told NewsClick: "Restricting the time limit for girls to 8 p.m and allowing boys to be out till 10 p.m. amounts to gender discrimination. Such discrimination is there at many campuses and it has to be changed. The women find the rules regressive and discriminatory and a violation of human rights. However, the university administration suggested that allowing girls to venture out late at night will jeopardise their safety. There are many other things to do. How will I finish all my work in three hours? How can I access books in the library?"

When asked, the proctor told NewsClick: "The timing of outings has already been in force for the last 20 years and the weather has also changed. Students from science backgrounds who work at laboratories late at night are allowed to go."

Meanwhile, members of several student unions, including All India Students Association (AISA), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, and Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA) carried out a "resistance march" on December 21 to protest against "police brutality" on Lucknow University students. The student groups demanded the proctor’s resignation and a revision in the hostel “curfew” timings.

The students alleged that the proctor was trying to create fear among students so that they cannot raise the issue or protest. 

AISA member Nikhil told NewsClick: "This is not the first time when students have been assaulted inside campus premises. Not long ago, some outside goons entered the campus and thrashed LU students. Meanwhile, the university administration and the chief proctor displayed their incompetence. Also, a biased approach in the case of dalit professor Ravikant Chandan, who was allegedly assaulted outside his department, has not gone down well with students.”

NSUI’s Vishal Singh told NewsClick: "Cases of violence against students inside the campus are increasing and the proctor has been unable to ensure the safety of students. The university administration is intimidating students and leaders who are raising their voices against injustice.” 

The student groups are also demanding the revival student union elections which have not been held for the past 17 years. The students alleged there was a lack of freedom of speech and expression on campus.

"When all elections, whether panchayati raj, municipal corporation or Assembly elections are being conducted in the state, then why not student union elections? It has been more than a decade since the student union election were held. Why is the administration afraid of conducting elections," the students said.

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