The installation of CCTV cameras at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has caused distress among students, who call it at attempt to curtail their freedom on campus. Security has also been heightened following clashes between the ABVP and other students on campus on July 16 after a meeting was held on the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in Kashmir.
Since then, the university has issued a circular asking students not to hold any meetings or protests on campus. Speaking to TNM, Dontha Prashanth, one of the suspend Dalit scholar along with Rohith Vemula, said “University is not a school where you dictate to students. We will continue our struggle and also hold meetings.”
Students say the new CCTV cameras are preventing them from expressing their issues openly in meetings. They say, the university did not consult anyone before installing the cameras.
The entry of women scholars into men’s hostels has also been restricted with students expressing their displeasure over constant monitoring.
Members of the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) recently submitted a representation to the chief warden and chief security officer, reported Times of India.
Calling the university’s move a violation of the 2013 Saksham Committee Report, the University Grants Commission states that “campus safety policies should not result in over monitoring, policing or curtailing the freedom of movement, especially for women.”
Vipin Srivastava, pro-vice chancellor of UoH told TOI, “The students blamed the administration when the Ambedkar bust went missing. To keep a tab on people behind such incidences, we installed CCTV cameras at the shopping complex and other major spots. As far as restrictions on women entering the men's hostel is concerned, I will have to check what the rule book states.”