SRFTI students' protests: Stir continues for second day after 14 girls expelled for objecting to segregated hostels
Protests against the expulsion of 14 girl students from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) continued for the second day on Wednesday with students 'gheraoing' the institute director, even as she defended the new segregation policy.
Kolkata: Protests against the expulsion of 14 girl students from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) continued for the second day on Wednesday with students "gheraoing" the institute director, even as she defended the new segregation policy.
Under the new policy, the girls were asked to vacate the old common hostel, which also accommodated boys, and move to an accommodation on the campus of the premier institute.
"Let them gherao me. I have no objection. But we stick to our decision regarding hostel segregation," SRFTI director Debamitra Mitra said.
She said the decision was taken by the governing and academic councils of the institute. "We cannot do anything about it. It is our mandate to implement the decision."
Mitra said the objective behind segregation was to ensure the safety of girl students.
"Earlier, boys and girls had separate accommodations in the same block of an old hostel building. After receiving the Information and Broadcasting ministry's approval in 2013, we undertook the construction of a new building for girls," she said.
Mitra said the institute was supposed to implement the decision by the end of this academic session. The decision was ratified by the general council in July.
While the boys remained in the old hostel building, all but 14 girls shifted to the newly constructed girls' hostel, she said.
The students who boycotted classes in protest, however, denied that they had gheraoed the director, and claimed they offered her water and she was free to go to her chamber.
Mitra maintained that she was gheraoed by the students and could not go to her chamber unless it was lifted.
The students alleged that the director was not answering any of their questions regarding various issues including living conditions on the campus.
"Neither our demands are fulfilled nor is she giving any answer," they said.
Asked about the students' grievances regarding infrastructure problems at the institute, Mitra said she was ready to sit with them every fortnight to discuss everything.