After a series of protests by students, Panjab University revised its hostel curfew timings for girl students. As per the new rules, girls can now enter hostels till 11 pm instead of the earlier deadline of 10.30 pm. The decision will get rolled out in the next few days. Currently, the decision is on an experimental basis for two months.
Emmanuel Nahar, Dean, Students Welfare (DSW), confirmed, “The entry timing has been extended to 11 pm. We have kept a one-hour window for unavoidable circumstances as per which entry up to midnight will be allowed. The fine for late entry has been reduced to Rs 100. Research scholars can take permission for their late night work.”
Student’s Council (PUCSC) of the campus along with some other parties had earlier raised the demand for change in the curfew timings. The charter of demands to the Dean, Student Welfare (DSW) Office was based on the feedback forms collected through the ‘Pinjra Tod’ campaign. Pinjra Tod is a movement demanding equality of rights for female students.
Vani Sood, Secretary, PUCSC pressed on the need to extend the cut-off time of the girls’ hostel to midnight stating,
“The rules are different for boys. It sounds discriminatory. Security has to be enhanced first”.
PUCSC has also demanded for the representation of the Student Council, Transgender and PhD scholars in Panjab University Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH). They also put in a request for a 24×7 student helpline number and installation of suggestion boxes at several places including the VC Office.
Earlier, PUCSC and Student Organisation of India (SOI) were in a feud over the demands for new hostel rules. Differences in initial demand for hostel timings led to this conflict. While the PUCSC had demanded midnight as the timing for entry of girls, SOI vouched for a 24-hour entry to the hostels.
SOI members on Thursday staged protests in the university in support of their demand for relaxation in hostel’s curfew timings. They blocked Gates of the university in the afternoon, shouting slogans for gender equality and women empowerment in the campus.
Decisions on hostel rules
The hostel entry timings will be extended to 11 pm. Timings can be extended up to 12 midnight, under emergency circumstances. Consequently, a maximum fine of Rs 100 will be charged as a deterrent. Lastly, there will not be any restrictions for Research Scholars.
Gurpreet, a member of Student for Society, expressing her disappointment said that the SFS wasn’t satisfied with the change. SFS will be carrying out a class-to-class campaign, continuing their protest for 24-hour entry into hostels.
Featured image source: Tribune India
Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv