The Malappuram Centre at Aligarh Muslim University has issued a notice barring nine MBA students of the hostel from going out of the campus. As per the notice, which came into effect on October 10, the srudents cannot go out of campus till the end of the ongoing semester.
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The notice said: “The following (nine) students of Begum Sultan Jahan Hall (Girls Hostel) at AMU Centre Malappuram are not allowed to go out of the hostel. The outing will remain barred till the end of the semester, or till further orders, with effect from 10/10/2016.”
The residents who have been barred alleged that the order was issued because they returned to the hostel late on a Sunday by two hours, after a five-hour outing.
“The university has barred any outing for me. I cannot participate in any activity or workshop outside the campus. I feel like I have been jailed till the end of the semester,” a resident told The Indian Express.
The notice further goes on to say, “They (nine residents) are not allowed to participate in any event like workshop/ Seminar Conference/ Fest etc outside the campus.”
The students alleged that the hostel administration and the warden are extremely dictatorial, and the notice issued is not subject to any discussion or negotiation.
“When we asked the warden why we have been barred for the entire semester, she just told us to read the notice and abide by it, we were told that it is final and cannot be challenged,” said a student who did not wish to be named.
The notice further says, “This action is taken against the act of violating hostel rules, misleading the administration, false entry-making in outing slips and in the student movement register.”
However, the students claimed that their late return was the only reason for the notice.
“We did not cheat or do anything with the outing slips. However, we did come late on a Sunday, and that was because the centre is far from the city, and we got stuck in traffic that day. It was not our fault, but now we are locked up here like jail inmates,” said another student who has been barred.
Hostel warden Fazeela Shahnawaz said the girls who have been named are getting outings, but only with a staff member to accompany them.
“This notice was issued as these girls were flouting the rules of the hostel. We have to maintain discipline, and hence the notice barring them from leaving the campus was issued,” Shahnawaz said. She also said the order was issued after consulting the parents of these girls.
“The parents of these girls know about them getting barred, and they are okay with it. I don’t understand what the problem is,” she said. However, the girls alleged that they are not getting their Sunday outings.
Labiba Sherwani, cabinet member of the students’ union, told The Indian Express that she did not know about the notice, and only got to know about it after receiving a copy from The Indian Express.
“I had no idea about this notice, but this is wrong. These are masters’ students, not kindergarten kids who can be forced to stay within hostel premises. And these are MBA students, how can the warden stop them from attending seminars and workshops? It will affect their career,” she said, adding, “If they are flouting rules, they should be fined. This is absolutely unfair, and shouldn’t be happening in any university.”
Women residents allege that these rules and diktats are only for the women, and the men enjoy impunity.
“The men in the hostel can do anything, there’s no restriction on their timings or attire. It is only the women that are controlled by the administration. The Murshidabad Centre and Malappuram Centre don’t even have a gender cell where these things can be brought up and spoken about.” The Indian Express has a copy of the notice.