Residents of DU's Ambedkar Ganguly Student House for Women on Thursday protested against the hostel authorities demanding the resignation of the warden for making controversial and objectionable remarks against a female student. Meanwhile, Undergraduate Hostel for Girls (UGHG) closed the gates to not let students join the protest but they broke the gates. The students also burnt prospectuses as a part of their protest.
On February 23, while screening out the performances of the Annual Hostel night, the warden, K. Ratnabali, raised objection over a girl's performance.
While pointing her out, she said: "Your dance is disrespectful. We have a lot at stake." (Some comments have not been mentioned for their objectionable language)
"I don't know what you do inside the premises, but performances will take place in front of the boys who will come tomorrow. Jab bahar se ladke aayenge, toh sab kuch cover karke rakho, be respectful. A woman's body should be a mystery to men. Since I am a man, I can do anything," she added.
This comment enraged the residents of the hostel and they demanded that the girl performs during the event. The Students' Welfare Association also assured that they will make sure that the girl's performance takes place.
However on the same night, the warden asked the guards to lock the hostel and ensure the girls don't get out.
"At around 10 pm, the warden asked the guard to lock us up. This is the first time, our hostel gates were locked. We started shouting. We were calling her again and again but she was not responding. Around 1 am we broke the gates and protested the whole night," said a resident requesting anonymity.
On the day of the Hostel Night, the girl performed and also informed the whole audience about the sequence of events. The warden, however, didn't turn up for the event.
The residents of the women hostels of the university are also protesting against the imposition of curfew and demanding to immediately follow the UGC Guidelines and the Saksham Committee Report.
The statement said: "It is an obvious fact that for students, especially the outstation students, getting a hostel is a necessity due to financial and many other reasons. However, it is extremely unfair that it seems that the administration takes advantage of the same necessity due to which the student has to deal with arbitrary and irrational rules."
UGC regulations dated 2nd May 2016 have declared restrictions on women's mobility as unjustified for universities to impose. Section 3.2, (13) states "Concern for safety of women students must not be cited to impose discriminatory rules for women in the hostels as compared to male students. Campus safety policies should not result in securitization such as over monitoring or policing or curtailing the freedom of movement, especially for women students and employees."
"Women students of Delhi University have decided that if our demands are not accepted, we will launch a protest in the last week of February, 2020, on campus and non compliance with discriminatory hostel rules and regulations," the statement said.
The residents of the hostel have decided to organise an indefinite strike from February 27 and will continue until their demands are met.