AN UNDERGRADUATE student of Mahila Maha Vidhyalaya, affiliated to the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), was allegedly asked to leave a girls’ hostel last week, as she showed “tendencies” of homosexuality and indiscipline. She, however, has not been asked to leave the college. While college authorities maintained that the student was suspended from the hostel because she had been harassing her fellow boarders, a professor — a member of the institute’s disciplinary committee — claimed on condition of anonymity that the first-year BA Honours student was “showing tendencies of being homosexual” and had to be suspended to maintain peace and discipline.
Assistant professor and chief coordinator of the five hostels in the college, Neelam Atri — who took disciplinary action against the student — said: “Around 16 boarders had given me in writing that the student was harassing them and scaring them with her activities and indiscipline. The student was also threatening fellow boarders with suicide if they did not yield to her demands.”
Atri, however, refused to comment on “charges of homosexuality” against the student. “There is nothing like this… students alleging this want to bring the university a bad name. This is an internal matter,” she said. Last week, the student’s parents were called to the college and asked to get her treated for the “disease”.
“The student used to threaten to harm herself if her fellow boarders did not help her out with her homework or other such things… She is not well. She has been depressed and had tried to harm herself. So, we asked her family to show her to a good doctor… We told them that if she recuperates, she can return to the hostel.”
When contacted, a professor, said: “The tendencies she was showing were at a nascent stage. We cannot really pin-point if it is really homosexuality. But we had to suspend her to maintain peace and discipline in the hostel.” “Students submitted written complaints to us saying that her behaviour was making them uncomfortable. We asked the students to adjust but when the complaints kept coming over the last few weeks, we had to take action,” the professor added.
A fellow student, who did not wish to be named, said: “The student was blind in one eye. She was disabled. The college authorities should have been extra attentive towards her. Instead, they suspended her without an inquiry or counselling. How is she going to face her class now? She has to study with the same women students.” “The girls and her parents, who are from rural Uttar Pradesh, are traumatised,” the student added.