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Week-long agitation continues at HNLU as students protest arbitrary rules, sexual harassment
Apprentice Lawyer

Week-long agitation continues at HNLU as students protest arbitrary rules, sexual harassment

Aditya AK

Students at Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU) Raipur continue to protest against the arbitrary policies of the administration and alleged sexual harassment by faculty members.

The protests, which began on August 27 at 10:30 pm, have not abated for the past week.

The initial protest was undertaken by the female students of HNLU, who went up in arms against the arbitrary curfew timings imposed on them. The male students later joined them in a show of solidarity, and soon enough, the entire student body was protesting.

The students made a list of 14 demands, including transparency in the administration of HNLU, doing away with arbitrary campus curfews, and representation of students in University bodies, among others.

Also part of the demands is the prompt constitution of an Inquiry Committee to investigate allegations of sexual harassment by faculty members. One faculty member is alleged to have remarked in class, “Girls should look beautiful before coming to class, so that my boys can come to class”.

The other demands include:

  • Appointment of a permanent Registrar
  • Constitution of a Review Commission to review the working of the University
  • Provision of student feedback on quality of teaching, services on campus etc
  • Student representation in the Academic and Executive Council through the Student Bar Association (SBA)
  • Ratification of SBA Constitution

The administration has been asked for written assurances that the demands will be fulfilled; the students plan to continue protesting until they are.

Thus far, the administration has not taken too kindly to the agitation; as per student accounts, it has threatened to call security forces to disperse the gathering of protesting students.

This is not the first time in the recent past that HNLU students have undertaken protests on campus. Students earlier demanded the resignation of then Vice-Chancellor Sukhpal Singh. Last week, the students got what they wanted when the Chhattisgarh High Court cut short the tenure of Dr Sukhpal Singh. The Secretary of the Chhattisgarh Law Department was been appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor in his stead.

Even as the protest goes into seventh consecutive day, students from other law schools, lawyers, and activists alike have expressed their solidarity with the cause of the HNLU students.

Featured image courtesy: Akansh Jain