The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Tuesday wrote to the Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) seeking reasons for the university’s decision to impose a curfew on women students residing in the hostel.
The commission took note of the JMI’s revised guidelines that was reported in the media earlier last week.
The new rules bar women residents from taking permission for ‘late nights’ and asks them to be back inside the hostel premises by 8 pm. “Residents of the Hall of Girls are informed that no late night is allowed any more. You are, therefore, required to follow the norms, in your own best interests,” stated a notice from the varsity.
In the letter sent to V-C Talat Ahmed, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal wrote, “It is observed that no such guidelines have been issued by other universities. Even in Jamia, they seem to have been issued only for girls and not for boys, thereby raising allegations of discrimination. JMI is one of the premier institutions of India and the step appears to have been taken for ensuring safety of female students. However… completely disallowing the entry of girls after 8 pm may end up putting them at a greater risk.”
Maliwal sought copies of the university’s old and recently revised guidelines. She also asked the V-C to give an explanation for imposing the deadline in a week.
A JMI spokesperson had said that “security and safety concerns” prompted the varsity to revise the timings. The rules, however, could be relaxed on a case-to-case basis, the spokesperson had said.
Stephen’s student writes to commission
The PhD student from St Stephen’s College, who has accused a professor of sexually harassing her, sent a written complaint to the DCW last week and appeared before the commission with a delegation of activists. After receiving the complaint on August 11, the commission had issued summons to the accused professor and principal Valson Thampu. They are expected to appear before the commission on Wednesday.