CHENNAI: After student protests over alleged moral policing by the management of a private engineering college landed at its doors as well as that of the City Police Commissioner, Anna University acted swift in appointing a six-member probe committee, officials said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, few students of the college staged a protest in front of the university against a circular allegedly issued by their college, enforcing new rules and regulations. Expressing solidarity, more students from the college assembled in front of the Commissionerate on Wednesday, placing a set of demands including allowing the detained students to continue their course without any trouble.
A senior police official said university authorities informed that them a six-member committee has been appointed to inquire into the issue. Varsity Registrar told Express that two deputy directors of student affairs, director of student affairs, director of prevention of sexual harassment and two other university officials would inquire into grievances of the students. Since the college has been indefinitely shut down due to the strike, the inquiry would commence next week, he added.
The circular that ran into controversy restricted students from wearing jeans, leggings and talking with students from the other gender, besides warning that violation would attract a fine. While the college management had denied issuing any such circular, the college’s rule book (a copy of which is available with Express) stipulates that besides jeans and leggings, students are disallowed from wearing black colour shirts, short and tight churidhars, T Shirts and half-sarees.
The rule book also states that students are not allowed to come out of their lecture rooms to drink water or use restrooms during class hours; a fine of Rs 500 was allegedly collected for violations. The students accused the college management of forcing them to share even their social networking account passwords to track their conversations even after banning use of mobile phones, laptop, SIM card, memory card and other musical instruments while travelling in the college bus and inside the campus, as mentioned in the rule book. The book was distributed after admission into first year.
The college through a recent circular dated September 18 (a copy of which is also with Express) has banned consumption of non-vegetarian food in the campus.
The students claimed they were also fined for availing leave (Rs 100 per day), taking notes in pencils (Rs 500), growing long hair or having a French-beard (Rs 1,000), playing inside the hostel room and interacting with their seniors/juniors.
One of the students told Express that hostel floor superintendents monitored whether the boys and girls interacted with each other not only within the premises, but also outside — at nearby railways stations, bus stops, restaurants, cafes etc. If found ‘guilty’, heavy fines were levied and their parents were called for issuing suspension orders, the student charged.