The University of Hyderabad witnessed protests as hundreds of students gathered to oppose the midnight checks conducted by authorities in the campus hostels. Students alleged that the wardens and deputy chief wardens, accompanied by the chief warden and other officials, knocked on their doors late in the night and asked students for their ID cards after locking the main gates of the hostels.
A student who requested for anonymity told TNM, “They are saying they want to find unauthourised boarders in the hostels, but what they really are doing is torturing and traumatising students by knocking doors at midnight.”
Arif Ahmed, general secretary of the Students’ Union, speaking to TNM said, “As the raids began, several students gathered in front of the hostel, raising slogans saying the authorities can’t intrude on the privacy of students and harass us. Even as we protested, the chief warden threatened us with disciplinary action, stating that we weren’t letting authorities perform their duty.”
Student organisations too took part in the spontaneous protests and alleged that the action on the part of college authorities amounted to torture.
Kuldeep Singh Nagi, a SFI leader, who also took part in the protests, said, “They are torturing students. It would have been great if they had shown the same concern for the problems students face in hostels. Instead, they are clicking photos of the students and warning them of disciplinary action.”
He added, "This is nothing but humiliating for the students, who have every right to privacy in their room.”
What officials say
Vasuki Belavadi, Chief Warden, speaking to TNM, said, “We conducted a surprise check in two hostels based on the definite information that unauthorised persons were staying in the hostels, causing an inconvenience to those students staying here.”
Belavadi claimed that in a single hour they found 20 outsiders in the hostels, and added that those from outside were “indulging in activities, which shouldn’t be done in university”.
When asked about students saying that these surprise checks were triggering panic in the hostels, he said such checks happened at unusual hours to catch people unawares, and said they would continue conducting such checks.