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SRFTI students stage protests over hostel segregation

Kolkata: The campus of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) on Tuesday witnessed protests from students which was triggered from the expulsion of fourteen girl students for their refusal to vacate an old hostel and shift to a new accommodation.
The students alleged that building a separate accommodation for girls was an act of moral policing.
The students staged class boycott and sit-in demonstration in protest while the authorities were firm that they will not change their decision of segregation.
"Several female students had earlier complained of sexual harassment by institute faculty and students and the move is to ensure safety of the girl students," a top SRFTI
official said.
"For the last 25 years, there was no rule regarding segregating male and female students in separate hostels. This rule was made overnight and also implemented overnight.Male students were shifted to one hostel and female students were asked to
move to another part and it was labelled as 'Girls Hostel'. A film school like SRFTI should have a liberal space," an agitating student
The students further pointed out unhygienic living conditions in the hostel, fee hike, slashing of funds for academic projects and various other factors leading to their agitation.
"We have appealed a number of times for talks but the authorities have hardly given us a hearing," Akshar Gauri, president of the student union said.
Refuting the allegations, SRFTI director Debamitra Mitra said the authorities had taken this decision to build a separate ladies hostel, upgrade curriculum and infrastructure at the institute after receiving an approval from the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry in 2013.
"There is always room for talks..I had faced agitation as the students boycotted classes. They may do the same on Wednesday but there is no question of backing from our decision," she said.
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