Students at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) are protesting against the administrationâ€™s recent order that students must vacate their rooms before leaving for their vacations. The administration issued a notice on May 9, instructing students to vacate their hostel rooms before leaving for vacations. The circular stated that if any students left behind their luggage and locked their rooms, "The lock of the room will be broken and luggage would be cleared and deposited at any available storage.â€ť
According to the university administration, students are allotted hostel accommodation for only a year at a time, and students are required to apply afresh each year for a room. However, till 2015, the rule was not applied strictly, and hence students continued staying in the same rooms till the end of their courses.
On Thursday, protests broke out among students when news of the notification issued by the administration spread. Students allege that the application of the rule will cause many outstation students problems, and leave some students without a room in the coming academic year.
S Bavajan, an MPhil student who has been active in the protests, "Most of the non-local students in the university are from Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Bihar, UP, West Bengal and other parts of the country. But still the university administration has asked students to vacate their hostels, which will be a big problem for all the students''.
He added that there is also a shortage of hostel rooms in the university. â€śWe have six hostels in MANUU, of which two hostels are for girls and four hostels are for boys. While the girlsâ€™ hostels can accommodate 450 students, the boysâ€™ hostels have a capacity of 820 students. But we have around 1500 to 1800 non local studentsâ€™â€™.
Bavajan said that when the students received the notice, some students and research scholars met the Vice Chancellor M Aslam Parvaiz. "He said you students come with your own set of rules on hostel allotment. We'll see and decide whether its viable or not", Bavajan added.
The protesting students are demanding that the Chief Warden be removed from his position. They have also declared that while they are willing to pay the regular hostel fees for the year, they would not vacate their rooms or pay the additional fees required for fresh applications and re-allotment of rooms.
The students were to meet with the Vice Chancellor on Friday afternoon. However, the meeting was allegedly cancelled by the latter. Students also alleged that hostel amenities such as electricity, water and WiFi were stopped. Mohammad Adnan, a PhD Scholar in Transition studies, told The News Minute, â€śThe VC gave us an appointment for 3pm but he didn't turn up for the meeting. Instead he created new issues between the non-teaching staff and students by stopping all hostel facilities like WiFi, water, and electricity. And, we heard today, that we may also not have food from today.â€ť
Officials of the University administration were unavailable for comment on these latest allegations about hostel amenities.