Row over hostel raid in Hyd Uni, after wardens’ claim students manhandled them

Students, however, accuse the authorities of moral policing and overplaying a minor argument to target some students.
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A raid by university authorities on a hostel in the University of Hyderabad has snow-balled into a controversy, with as many as 12 students facing allegations of “manhandling” and “misbehaving” with hostel wardens.
Trouble began when hostel authorities conducted an inspection of the Men’s Hostel J, where a woman student was found in one of the rooms. A disagreement then ensued between students and the wardens and grew into a ruckus, with students accused of switching off the lights in a corridor and trying to assault the wardens.
On Sunday, the University administration issued show cause notices 23 students, including the Students’ Union President Sreerag P and ex-President Kuldeep Singh Nagi. The 12 students have been asked to appear before a committee on Tuesday and explain their actions.
However, students deny that any assault took place, and accuse the administration of overplaying an argument to target students.
Speaking to TNM, Sreerag said that he had only intervened to calm the argument down. “On Friday night at around 11pm, I got a call from students that, following a raid, students and wardens were exchanging arguments. I went there and requested wardens to leave as it was late in the night.”
Sreerag also questioned the Wardens’ decision to conduct a hostel raid so late in the night. “How can they conduct raids at midnight? What is the motive behind taking up raids in the night, when they can conduct them during regular hours?” he asked.
Arif Ahammed, the General Secretary of the Students’ Union accused the administration of targeting students who spoke up against the authorities. “The raids were conducted with a selective and targeted orientation. Last week, one of the student among these 12 took up the issue of moral policing and shaming by wardens on social media, and many people supported him,” alleged Arif.
The UoH unit of the ABVP also issued a poster on Saturday condemning authorities for taking up raids on the students. “Open spaces are out of bounds, hostel spaces are restricted, no option for good food, no spaces to relax. Are we in a jail? Where are the spaces for dining and socialisation in UoH?” the poster asks.
However, UoH Security in-charge TV Rao, who is also part of the Inquiry Committee in the case, said that the authorities were justified in their actions. “The inquiry is on board. What can you expect when a group of students decide to turn off the lights to resort to an assault against the warden?” he asked.
He also dismissed student allegations of moral policing, and said that students were violating university rules. He said that the woman student found in the men’s hostel during the raid had already been found once before in the hostel.
“University rules do not allow women students entry into the men’s hostels. In the last week itself, she was found in the hostel and an explanation was sought. Why is she again trespassing into the men’s hostel, what job does she have there?” Rao asked.
He denied to comment any further on the issue as the inquiry is under way.
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