'Retract notices sent to hostel students'

Protest for water is a human right: Kapil Mishra

Delhi Cabinet Minister Kapil Mishra wrote to DU Vice Chancellor on Wednesday and asked him to retract the notices that were issued to girl students who voiced their concern over water shortage at a women’s hostel in Mukherjee Nagar.

“As Delhi’s Culture Minister, I can tell you that Delhi’s culture is made by the vibrant citizens from every state, not by caged students deprived of basic freedoms. I demand that these notices are retracted immediately, and request you to ensure that such incidents never happen in campus or hostel within Delhi University,” Mishra said in the letter.

The hostel administration shot off notices addressing the guradians of the protesting students that their children were protesting outside the hostel premises late at night in “violation” to the rules.

The notices also added that the girls act of staying out of the hostel at night brought a “bad reputation” to the hostel.

On April 23, the minister received a call at around 11.15 pm from the Maurice Nagar Police Station SHO that about 250 female students of a DU’s women’s hostel were protesting against unavailability of water for over two months.

The minister reached the spot with the Delhi Jal Board officials. “I got to know that about two months ago due to wear and tear of an internal pipeline, the hostel administration had been unavailable to provide water supply including clean drinking water to the students living in the hostel,” the letter said. The water supply and pipeline network of the Delhi Jal Board was intact during the period, it added.

“The hostel administration, at that time, promised that they would restore supply in two days, something that should have been done months ago. It is unforgivable that despite DJB’s efforts to ensure proper water supply in the city, our students were suffering due to a complete failure of administration within the hostel, which has led to turmoil in their lives, over such a fundamental prerequisite of life, water.”

Due to the failure of the administration, the DJB took immediate control over the repair of the hostel’s internal pipeline and got the water issue resolved within two days. the minister said.

The fundamental right to protest against violation of human rights is something that our constitution protects, and it is important that our citizens, especially our youth, exercise this right to ensure that society as a whole doesn’t accept injustice as a norm.

The university should facilitate the lives of the students and not act as an Orwellian state that watches and cracks down on every move.

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