OU hostel inmates asked to leave; up in arms against VC

Students complained that university officials were not in touch with them and were sending police personnel instead

HYDERABAD: Osmania University (OU) has asked its resident students to vacate the hostels immediately, after the government declared holidays for education institutions from January 8 to 16. The students have not been told when the hostels will reopen.

Around 300 students staged a protest on Saturday seeking more time from the university to leave the hostels as they were unprepared.

“The authorities have cut drinking water and electricity supply. The university just informed us to vacate hostels without telling us a reopening date,” said D. Naresh, state president, Dalit Minority Student Association.

Velapula Sanjay, a Ph D scholar, alleged that in the name of Covid, university officials were behaving ‘ruthlessly’ with students. “We need to submit our thesis for which we need to have accommodation and facilities to complete our work. This is not being allowed by Vice Chancellor Prof. D. Ravinder Yadav,” he said.

Students complained that university officials were not in touch with them and were sending police personnel instead.

Prashanth, a hosteller, said the police had informed them about the water and power supply being restored for a day on Sunday, after the protests on Saturday. However, this was not done at all hostels. “There are over 18 universities in the state, no one is forcing students to vacate hotels,” he said.

Asked about this, Prof. Ravinder Yadav said a decision could not be taken now in anticipation of the situation next week. “That is why the reopening date was not informed to the students,” he said. “What if a student tests positive on campus, which will affect the others? Who will be responsible?” the VC asked.

Regarding Ph D students having to submit their theses, he said it was for those who passed out before 2016. Such students have no right to stay in OU hostels. “They are forcefully living in the hostel for 10 years and are not vacating the rooms, and might be the ones to stage a protest,” Prof. Yadav said.

“This is another reason we asked students to vacate hostels so that we can get rid of unauthorised persons. We have to complete construction work for newcomers of whom 70 per cent are girls,” he said. A few boys’ hostels are being converted to girls’ hostels.

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