Protests hit SRFTI campus after expulsion of 14 girl students

Protests hit SRFTI campus after expulsion of 14 girl students

The expulsion of fourteen girl students from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI)for their refusal to vacate an old hostel and shift to a new accommodation triggered protests on the premiere institute's campus today.

The students alleged that building a separate accommodation for girls was an act of moral policing.

Refuting the allegations, SRFTI director Debamitra Mitra said the authorities had taken this decision to build a separate ladies hostel, upgrade curriculum and infrastructure at the institute after receiving an approval from the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry in 2013.

"Earlier, the boys and the girls had separate accommodation in the same block of án old hostel building. After receiving the I&B ministry's approval in 2013, we undertook the construction of a new building for the girls," she told reporters today.

Mitra said the objective behind segregation was to ensure the safety of students.
"We wanted to segregate the students by the end of this academic session. The decision was ratified in the general council meeting in last July. While the boys remained in the old hostel building, all but 14 girls shifted to the newly constructed girls' hostel," she said.

The director also said that she won't tolerate discipline on the institute's campus.
"We tried to reason it out with the girls. Last week, we gave them 48 hours to vacate the old hostel. We told them if they didn't listen, they would be debarred from pursuing academics. But they refused to relent," she said.

The agitating students, including the 14 girls, however, alleged that the management was trying to curb their freedom.

One of the students said on condition of anonymity that the authorities had even called in police to stop their protests.

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