BANGALORE: Caught in the crossfire between their principal and their college management, B Sc animation students of Zee Institute of Creative Arts have approached an unsual forum for help.
"We have not had classes for the three months. They are haven't even allowed us inside the college in the last 15 days," a student told City Express.
It all began when the Koramangala branch of the institute was sold to another owner. "Mid term, along with our college name, our university changed. We realised the magnitude of the problem when we approached the Malleswaram branch to write our exams," said Sanjith Paul, a third semester student.
Now, the institute is known as the Wings College of Arts Media and Design.
The students have filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), saying the Koramangala branch of the university refused to allow the students to write the exam on the pretext that the owner of the Koramangala franchise, identified as Soumya Devaraj, owed money to the head office in Mumbai. This was on August 28. The next day was the inauguration of the new franchise. Not sure what to do, the students arrived at the college on the morning of the inauguration. But during a discussion, in which Soumya Devaraj and her lawyer were participating, the police were brought in and the students asked to leave the college. "Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy was supposed to inaugurate the new college and they were afraid we would approach him with our problems," said Paul.
The students and the college principal were asked to go to the Koramangala police station the next day. "We were there at 10 am, as told. But the sub-inspector (Bharat) and the college principal came in only at 3 pm. We had conversations with the management in the presence of Soumya Devaraj and the police. According to the management, she owed them `10 lakh. After much haggling, she promised to give them `4 lakh, after which they said they would transfer us to the Malleswaram branch of ZICA. But till now nothing has happened," the students allege.
Interestingly, when the students approached the Koramangala police this time, sub-inspector Bharat refused to file an FIR against the college without a lawyer. He also gave a lawyer's contact details to the students. "We cannot afford a lawyer," said one of the students.
With no other recourse in before them, they then approached the SHRC and filed a complaint with the acting chairperson, Meera Saxena. She has asked the ZICA head office to submit a report on the issue.
When contacted, Prashanth, inspector at the Koramangala station, did not know about the incident and promised to check with sub-inspector Bharath.
City Express tepeatedly attempted to get in touch with the ZICA head office, but they did not respond.