Casteism, transphobia at Hyderabad University: Clothes of two students burnt

Staging a protest, the students said that the university has not acknowledged the need for a safe space for trans persons even after repeated complaints.
Hyderabad University students staging the protest.
Hyderabad University students staging the protest.
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Students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) staged a protest in front of the administration block on Tuesday, February 27, demanding action against those who were responsible for allegedly burning the clothes of two trans women affiliated to the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA). They alleged it was an instance of deliberate transphobic aggression and casteism. The clothes of Hritik Lalan, a Dalit trans woman and ASA General Secretary, and her roommate Tikku, also a trans woman, were found burnt on the hostel premises.

Hrithik Lalan told TNM, “This is a clear instance of ragging. It is transphobic and a caste atrocity. My roommate Tikku and I had put out clothes to dry in the Men’s K-Hostel, where we stay, on February 24. In the morning, we had heard a few students discussing setting the clothes ablaze. We later found out that someone has deliberately singled out our clothes and burnt them.” 

She alleged that serious instances of transphobia have taken place in the campus since she got elected as a member of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) aka the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH). “About six months ago, I had submitted a complaint to the administration against members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for assault. There has been no progress,” she said.

In September 2023, Hrithik and ASA president Sabari Girija Rajan, were allegedly physically attacked by a female member of the ABVP while trying to interact with the freshers. The students alleged that even after repeated complaints, the university has not acknowledged the need for a safe space for trans persons. 

“We demand a policy for the safety of the trans community in the university. While the administration doors remain shut during protests, the Dean of Student Welfare (DSW) met us and said they will discuss the matter. We have submitted a complaint against the latest transphobic harassment that took place on Monday,” Hrithik said.

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