Symbiosis Students ‘Evicted’ after Criticising College over MeToo

Amidst the chaos of being evicted from the hostel and a lack of access to study materials, Apoorva YK and Snigdha Jayakrishnan appeared for their last exam on Thursday, 1 November.

Both of the students were allotted a separate off-campus exam centre by the Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, as the two have been banned from entering the campus until the investigation is concluded.

Apoorva and Snigdha said that besides eviction, their study preparation has been hampered after the administration restricted access to 'Curiosity,' an online portal with all their study materials.

Citing attendance shortage and poor percentage, the administration had prevented from appearing for all the exams, and gave permission for only two subjects.

Why Were The Two Students Evicted

On 26 October, Apoorva and Snigdha, both fourth-year BA BL students were evicted from their hostel on grounds of misconduct. The institute claims that the step was taken as a disciplinary action after Apoorva and Snigdha got into a spat with the security staff when they were denied exit from the campus in April.

However, the evicted students allege that the administration banned them from campus after they spoke out on the indifference of the administration in handling complaints of sexual harassment against Srinivas Methuku, an assistant professor.

On 10 October, Apoorva had spoken against Srinivas in a Facebook post and criticised the ‘poor’ investigation carried out by administration.

Srinivas has been suspended from the university until the investigation is complete, following the directions of the Internal Complaints Committee.

Also Read: Symbiosis Law School Suspends Prof Accused of Sexual Harassment

‘Not Rusticated, Only Evicted’

The Dean and the Head of Students' Affairs had allegedly threatened to rusticate Apoorva and Snigdha if they didn't take down the post and issue an apology. However, as the students remained defiant, the administration issued a notice asking them to vacate the campus immediately. Though they weren’t rusticated, they aren’t allowed to enter the campus.

Speaking to The News Minute, Principal Director of Symbiosis Society and spokesperson Vidya Yeravdekar said that they are awaiting for a final report that will determine the fate of Apoorva and Snigdha.

"“Until the final report comes out, they are prevented from entering the campus. The Vice Chancellor will take a call on this.”" - Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director of Symbiosis Society

The students remain uncertain about their future at the law college. Though the institute claims that they are waiting for a report, Apoorva and Snigdha allege that the administration is deliberately delaying it. Apoorva added that attendance is a mechanism that the administration uses against students who rebel against them.

"“We believe it is an attempt to segregate us from rest of the student population. We find it extremely disturbing and inconvenient. As a result of the eviction, most of our stuff is either damaged, misplaced or lost.”" - Snigdha Jayakrishnan, student 

Also Read: Symbiosis Suspends Two Faculty Members Over #MeToo Allegations

(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute)

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