#MeToo: students evicted from hostel for speaking up

#MeToo: students evicted from hostel for speaking up

Snigdha and Apoorva

The Symbiosis Law School has evicted two fourth-year law students from the hostel on Friday for their #MeToo allegations about an assistant professor and also barred them from writing examinations scheduled for 31 October and 1 November. The campus authorities allegedly used an incident that happened in April to initiate disciplinary action against them.

Sruthi files complaint against Arjun Sarja

The students Apoorva Yarabahalli and Snigdha Jayakrishnan filed a police complaint against the dean, Shashikala Gurpur, with the Nandigama police station under Cyberabad Police Commissionerate. Sub- Inspector of police B. Narsimha Reddy told DH that cases were filed under 354 (B) (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).

Ogling Professor

In the month of April, the two girls wrote to Mrs Menaka Gandhi, Minister of women and child development, National Commission for Women and various other organizations and individuals about the sexual demeanour by the Assistant Professor. “The complaint against Prof. Srinivas Methuku was one among the 4 sexual harassment allegations mentioned in our letter,” Apoorva said.

Dr Shejul, registrar of SIU responded to the ministry that Methuku was reprimanded by the director and other allegations were not true. Following this Apoorva wrote a Facebook post in the month of October by attaching an Instagram screenshot, where a survivor anonymously accused Srinivas of ogling at her breasts, causing discomfort. The head of Students’ Affairs Puja Malhan then allegedly warned the students to remove the post and apologize.

The disciplinary action

“You are hereby requested to vacate the campus on 26 October, until further order,” the circular reads. The action came for an incident that occurred after their sixth semester in April. The college refused to issue an out-pass and when the girls were leaving for home guards surrounded and physically restrained Snigdha by locking the gate from inside. “On 9 October an anonymous Instagram story was posted on “Kalmuhi” alleging that Methuku had harassed a student. In solidarity with our friend, we posted a Facebook post, “the girls said.

Symbiosis explains

The institution in a “statement of Truth” published on its website, however said that both the girls were involved in repeated disciplinary violations and their fellow students have filed a mass petition against them. The management says that the assistant professor on whom an inquiry is pending has been suspended on 16 October. “It is therefore evident that these students are trying to misrepresent the facts,” the statement said. 

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