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By Behindwoods News Bureau | Dec 04, 2018 10:05 AM
IIT Madras student accuse officials of harassment and policing

Students, including several research scholars and hostel inmates from the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-Madras) have accused the institution officials of harassment and moral policing. The students have cried foul during checks conducted in their rooms.

Speaking to the media, students who occupy the various hotels on campus have narrated stories about authorities barging into their rooms to conduct surprise checks.  However, the Dean of the central government-funded institute has categorically denied these allegations.

The hostel residents, both men and women, allege that officers barge into rooms, insult and click pictures without consent and their behaviour violates the students' right to privacy and dignity.

The Dean, MS Sivakumar, said that they had received complaints from students and the vigilance officers have been apprised of the issues and told not to click photographs.

One of the hostel residents told The News Minute (TNM) that the unrest among students has been sparked by the discovery of used condoms at campus' Brahmaputra Hostel.

"Two weeks ago, the vigilance people (those who are authorised to conduct random raids on student hostels) entered the boys’ hostel at the Brahmaputra hostel. They found used condoms in the dustbin of one of the male students. They fined the students for this and put up a public notice in an attempt to shame the student."

One of the female research scholars has also alleged that the officials barge into rooms, pull things out and call them names for their personal choices. "We are all adults...it is really demeaning to experience all this. We might have a lot of stuff that we do not want others to see. It need not even be prohibited things. It is a clear violation of our right to privacy and dignity," she said.

The Dean has stated that the charges leveled by students do not reveal the whole picture, adding checks are conducted by ex-servicemen trained to deal with such issues. "Vigilance officers are the ones tasked to enforce hostel rules and check for violations. We don't know if we can call it harassment or enforcement," he told PTI.


*With inputs from NDTV*