Hundreds of angry students staged protests on Tuesday after the state government asked hostel residents at Indore’s Devi Ahilya Vishwavidhyalaya to vacate rooms for security forces to be deployed during the month-long Simhastha Kumbh.
Students and research scholars said over 1,000 hostel residents will be affected by the move to vacate rooms by April 15 and tabled their grievances before acting vice-chancellor Prof Ashutosh Mishra.
“As management students, we have to do summer internship. Like me, hundreds of girl students don’t go home during the summer season. If we vacate hostels, where do we go?” asked Surbhi Sharma, a 22-year-old management post-graduation student. She is a resident at the CV Raman Girls Hostel.
Around 50 million people are expected to attend the kumbh between April 22 and May 21 in Ujjain, about 55km from Indore.
To accommodate the large number of security personnel who will be deployed, the government had asked DAVV, Indore and Vikram University, Ujjain to keep all their hostels ready for forces.
But students at DAVV said more than 1,600 students are currently staying at five girls and four boys hostels situated in the University Teaching Department (UTD).
Mishra said they got a letter from the state government, where they were asked to keep all university hostels ready for Simhastha.
“As heavy security forces are going to be deployed at the fair in Ujjain and adjoining areas, we have to accommodate them and that’s why we asked all the students to vacant their hostel by April 15.”
“If students have problems and want to stay in the hostel during the summer, they can forward the letter through their department heads to the university; we will consider them as a special case,” Mishra added.