After a three-day agitation by the girl students, Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, on Friday agreed to implement the Kerala High Court order against imposing time restrictions at the college’s girls’ hostel.
“The college authorities have agreed to our demands. The Principal has given a written statement agreeing to allow girls to go out till 8.30 p.m. The decision will be declared at the Parent Teacher Association meeting to be held on Sunday. The High Court order will be implemented from Monday,” said K.P. Selmath, student leader.
The girl students of the college had been on a strike for the past three days demanding that the college implement the High Court order.
Principal K. Krishnakumari, who held discussions with the Cochin Devaswom Board, the management of the college, maintained that a final decision on the issue could be taken only after the PTA meeting.
But the agitating girl students had maintained that the HC had clearly mentioned that girls had freedom similar to a boy.
“The HC has dismissed the argument by the college that hostel rules are signed by parents of the students. The court has said that fundamental rights cannot be violated even if the parent has signed,” said Ms. Selmath.
After a meeting on Friday night with the management and the students’ representatives, the Principal agreed to implement the HC order and allow students to go out till 8.30 p.m. Currently, it is till 6 p.m.
The Kerala High Court in its recent order on a petition by Anjitha K. Jose and Rinsa Thasni, two hostel residents of the college, observed that girls were entitled to the rights enjoyed by boys.
Suspending the restrictions on the students’ right to watch movies, Justice Mustaque stated that “A girl is having equal freedom similar to a boy. There are no such restrictions in the boys’ hostel. It is for the students to decide whether they should go for first or second show or not.”
Curbs on politics
While striking down the ‘Instruction 22’ banning the hostel students from taking part in political meetings, the HC observed that it was the fundamental right of every citizen to have their political views.
Though the students had withdrawn the agitation by 11.30 p.m. on Thursday night, they resumed it on Friday as the college authorities failed to take any decision. There are more than 200 girls staying in the hostel of the Kerala Varma College.