CAA: Central University asks students to vacate hostels

Last Updated 17 December 2019, 12:40 IST

Hours after hundreds of its students protested against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Central University in Thiruvarur on Monday advanced its winter vacation by a week and has asked students to vacate their hostels within 24 hours.

After Registrar Dr. S Bhuvaneswari issued the circular asking them to vacate their hostels by Tuesday night, students launched a dharna inside the campus asking the administration to withdraw the circular and allow them to stay inside their hostel rooms till December 24 as the winter vacation was to begin the next day as per the original schedule.

“The University is closed from today (16.12.2019) for winter holidays of the Academic Year 2019-2020. All the hostellers are directed to vacate the hostel within 24 hours from today,” the circular read. More than 1,000 people stay in three hostels run by the university.

Several students whom DH spoke to said it was impossible for them to vacate the hostel within 24 hours as a chunk of them hail from far-away states like West Bengal, Kashmir, and Assam.

The action by the University came hours after over 300 students held a protest inside the campus raising slogans against the CAA and in solidarity with students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University whose protests were quelled by police on Sunday.

The protest by the Central University students ended with the burning of effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

“We protested peacefully, and we did not indulge in any violence. Even the police were there during our protest. Within two hours of the protest, we get a circular asking us to vacate hostels in 24 hours. Why should we vacate the hostels when we have paid for it till December 24?” an M. Phil student asked.

An M.Sc (Integrated course) student, who did not wish to reveal his identity, told DH it was impossible to vacate hostels in 24 hours as students won’t be able to get tickets on trains to reach their respective destinations. “There are students who come from as far as Assam, West Bengal, and even Kashmir. How will they find a place on a train to reach their home towns or cities? How is it possible to get tickets on trains in less than 24 hours?” he asked.

Several students have booked tickets to travel to their hometowns on December 20 by applying leave on December 23 and 24. “We should be allowed to stay in the hostels at least till December 20 so that we can go home as planned earlier,” another student who hails from West Bengal said.

The students also alleged that the Registrar had always quelled any protests against the Union Government. “This is not the first time she is resorting to such an extreme step. She had closed the hostel in August when there were protests against the abrogation of Article 370. She doesn’t believe in protests,” another student said.

(Published 16 December 2019, 19:13 IST)

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