Following protests by students, University of Hyderabad (UoH) authorities have now extended time till the end of June for students to vacate their hostels.
Earlier university authorities had asked students to vacate the hostels and leave by June 9. A circular issued by the university said: “All the remaining boarders of all the hostels are strongly advised to make necessary arrangements to leave the hostels and return to their homes at the earliest.”
However, students and the students’ union took exception to the circular, alleging that it was autocratic and can put students at risk of contracting COVID-19.
The students staged a protest in front of the Chief Warden’s Office and the Administrative block of the university demanding immediate rollback of the circular.
Speaking to TNM, Chief Warden Vineet Nair said, “In the wake of the existing pandemic situation and concerns for the students, the university strongly advised students to leave the campus and take care. Since the students objected to it, the university has now extended the time for vacating the hostels till the end of the month.”
He further said, “Since the mess workers and other staff come from outside, there is every chance of the virus spreading, we wanted to avoid such a situation. There will be no forceful eviction of students.”
UoH spokesperson Prof Vinod Pavarala said that after considering certain points raised by the students, the university has decided to give more time for the students to vacate.
He said, “With the mess staff and other outsourcing staff coming from outside, we are now living in a relaxed atmosphere. We don’t know whom they’re in contact with, so we’re genuinely concerned about an outbreak happening on campus.”
He also said that there will be no forcible eviction, but that it was a strong advisory to the students to start thinking about making arrangements to go back to their homes.
However, the students’ union stated that any further decision about the closure of hostels or asking students to vacate should be done after consultation with them.
Sree Charan, Vice President of the students’ union, told TNM, “Those students who are able to make arrangements to leave can do so, but the university should not forcibly evict boarders. Any further decision on this should be made after due review and in consultation with the students’ union.”
According to authorities, out of over 4,600 students, about 460 students remain on the campus. Out of these students, at least 80 were said to have already completed their course work.