The students’ union of Government Medical College, Kozhikode, is moving the Kerala High Court against the night curfew for students at the ladies’ hostel of the institution. Union leaders said four students, under the banner of ‘Azadi- Break the Curfew Movement’, were filing the writ petition on Monday.
The move comes after students had appealed to the college management against the sudden enforcement of curfew a few days ago, followed by a late night protest by girls on the campus on Wednesday. The college authorities maintained that 9.30 p.m. was the stipulated curfew time for all hostels under the Kerala University of Health Sciences, which they had relaxed to 10 p.m. The Principal has called for an emergency parent-teacher meeting to discuss the issue.
There are three hostels for girls under the Government Medical College in Kozhikode. The hostel authorities used to allow students to move in and out of the hostel during odd hours by entering details in a movement register, for convenience of using the library, night duties, and using other facilities on the campus. However, the authorities of LX-4 Hostel that accommodates first and third year students decided to impose the rule with the recent arrival of first year students. This affected third year students, which provoked them to question the move and protest against it. That the rule is not imposed at the boys’ hostel has also provoked the students.
The Kerala Women’s Commission, upon receiving a complaint from the students, decided to look into the issue. Commission Chairperson P. Sathidevi said on Thursday that such a curfew was unfortunate and the panel would bring it to the notice of the State government.
A few women’s right activists are planning to stage a protest in front of the medical college at 3 p.m. on Saturday, offering support to the ‘Azadi’ movement.