Pinjra Tod spreads its wings: Panjab University allows female students to return to hostels by 11pm
In view of Panjab University Campus Students Council’s (PUCSC) ‘Pinjra Tod’ movement and protests by student outfits against differential hostel policies, the university has allowed female students to return to their hostels by 11pm, while research scholars have been allowed late entry with their hostel warden’s permission.
Emanual Nahar, dean, students welfare, said, “We have to ensure security of girl students residing on campus. We have relaxed the timing to return by one hour. Students can enter hostels till 11pm, and in unavoidable circumstances till midnight. Earlier marked at 9pm, attendance will now be marked between 10pm and 11pm.”
He added, “Research scholars have a genuine reason to stay out till late, as they work differently. Therefore, they will not be charged a fine if they return late, but only if they have the hostel warden’s permission.”
Male students are allowed 24-hour entry to their hostels. PUCSC secretary Vani Sood had earlier written to the DSW, demanding relaxation in timings for female students.
On the extension in deadline, she said, “We do not want 24-hour entry, but wish the entry time be relaxed till midnight.”
Seeking easier regulations for female hostellers, Student Organisation of India (SOI) member Iqbalpreet Singh had been on a hunger strike for the past four days. As part of the protest, SOI members closed PU’s gate number 3 for around an hour in the day.
After the DSW gave them a written assurance in the evening, they ended the hunger strike.
On the other hand, the Students for Society (SFS) continued their protest, seeking 24-hour entry for girls in hostels, among other demands, such as rollback of fee hike. SFS spokesperson Harman said, “The one-hour relaxation is just a sweet pill by the university authorities.”
Prakash Rani from Ferozepur, mother of one of the protesting students, said, “Our daughters are mature enough to know what is right for them. They know how much relaxation they need.”