EFLU protests: Three Kerala MPs ask University to revoke case against students

MPs ET Mohammed Basheer, Abdul and Sivadasan have sought for a thorough inquiry in sexual assault incident. 
EFLU university, Hyderabad
EFLU university, Hyderabad
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Three MPs from Kerala have responded to the alleged sexual assault of a student in English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, expressing serious concern over the response of the administration, who have instead filed a case against 11 protesting students.  The MPs have demanded thorough investigation into the matter and urged authorities to revoke the case against the students.

In a letter addressed to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Rajya Sabha MP ET Mohammed Basheer urged for a comprehensive investigation into the alleged sexual assault of the student and address the concern of the students. 

Similarly, Indian Union Muslim league (IUML) Rajya Sabha MP Abdul Wahab sought the intervention of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the issue. “I believe that immediate action and intervention are necessary to prevent further escalation of this situation and to restore trust within the university community,” the MP said in his letter. 

Another MP from Kerala, Sivadasan, also brought the issue to the attention of the National Women’s Commission (NCW). Addressing a letter to Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the NCW, Sivadasan said, “On the night of 18th October, a female student was sexually harassed and physically assaulted by two men within EFLU campus, Hyderabad. Despite this incident of such serious nature, I have been informed that the response from the EFLU administration is not satisfactory.”

Seeking justice for the survivor, Sivadasan said, “There are complaints that instead of addressing the just demands of the students, the administration is trying to muzzle out the voices of dissent through punitive actions upon those who demand their due rights. There is an urgent need to ensure that strong and efficient action is taken upon this case so that the survivor gets justice and the violators are brought to book. The safety of students from all parts of India studying in EFLU, should also be ensured. I request your kind attention and immediate intervention into the issue so that the rights of the students are protected.”

Since October 16, EFLU has been on a boil over the reconstitution of SPARSH (Sensitisation, Prevention and Redressal of Sexual Harassment Committee) in the campus by holding elections. According to the students, SPARSH has been defunct since June.

Following an inappropriate response from proctor Professor Samson, the protesting students boycotted classes and continued to protest.  

Amidst the protest, on October 18, a student was sexually assaulted in the campus, triggering outrage among the student community. The agitated students demanded the resignation of the proctor and Vice-Chancellor for failing to ensure safety of the students.

However, the university in its response said that FIRs have been filed against 11 students who participated in the protest. 

The MPs in their letters have asked for a thorough investigation into the sexual assault of the students and withdrawal of case against the students. 

MP Mohammed Basheer has requested Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan to assess the administration situation of the University and ensure the safety of the students.

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