Hyderabad | Several students from the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) on Monday held a protest, seeking justice for a woman collegemate who was allegedly sexually assaulted by unidentified persons on the university campus.
Alleging administrative apathy and complete lack of accountability following the incident of sexual assault on the campus on October 18, the students have decided to hold indefinite and relay hunger strikes starting today over demands including justice for the survivor and arrest of the perpetrators, a statement said.
The students said even before the strike could commence, police detained seven students from the protest site.
With the protest continuing, the senior administrative functionaries of EFLU interacted with the students at the main gate, where they were holding a protest and appealed to them to call off their agitation.
The students in a release said they reiterated their demands to the administrative officials and questioned the alleged insensitivity with which the sexual assault case was handled.
They alleged that the administration left abruptly without addressing any of the students' demands.
A group of professors from the university also joined the students' protest inside the campus and expressed their support, the students said, adding more than 30 of their collegemates were detained by police.
However, a release from EFLU said, "The administrative functionaries informed the students that the administration of EFLU understands the concerns of the students about the reported sexual assault. But the demand of EFLU students regarding the arrest of culprits is not in the hands of the university as the police are thoroughly investigating the reported incident".
The survivor could not give any clue to identify the culprits to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), the release said.
The university administrative functionaries termed the demand of the students for the resignation of the Proctorial Board as untenable.
With regard to other demands of the protesting students, the university administration said a circular has already been issued that the elections would be held after the completion of the assembly elections in Telangana and elected student representatives would be inducted into the ICC as per the requirement.
With regard to the allegations of restrictions on students' mobility and access to campus spaces, the university administration described it as completely "false".
The woman student was allegedly assaulted by two unidentified persons on the night of October 18 and following a complaint by her, a case was registered at the Osmania University Police Station and investigations were on to identify the accused.
Several students also held protests in this regard earlier.