Tension prevailed at Vani Degree College for women at Mehdipatnam
after its principal is said to have asked a burqa-clad student to
unveil herself for identification before entering the college
At this, hundreds of agitated
undergraduates joined by Intermediate students of the sister junior
college, raised slogans against the principal, Y Annapurna. They
also pelted the college building with stones, prompting a lathi-charge
by the police.
The trouble apparently began on
account of the “unveiling” episode, but in fact it had been brewing
over the last few days, with the rift between the students and the
On Thursday evening, the students
staged a dharna in front of the college demanding an apology from
Annapurna. The issue seemed to have been sorted out following the
intervention of Karwan MIM MLA Afsar Khan. But surprisingly, on
Friday morning, the students gathered outside the college and staged
a dharna demanding the principal’s suspension.
Anticipating trouble, police force
were deployed there in large numbers.
Nevertheless, they had a tough time
preventing the agitators from trying to storm the college.
On being thwarted by the police, the
students began throwing stones at them. West Zone Deputy
Commissioner of Police C Ravi Varma narrowly escaped being hit.
At length, the police resorted to a
lathicharge and as the girls ran helter-skelter for safety the
locality was gripped by fear for nearly half an hour. Traffic came
to a standstill for more than an hour till the situation was brought
Later, Afsar Khan arrived on the scene
and pacified the agitated students and their parents, and held
discussions with college authorities and the police. For her part,
principal Annapurna apologised to the students.
“The students alleged that the
principal asked them not to wear the burqa to college, but the
latter has denied it,” Asifnagar division Assistant Commissioner of
Police M Venkateshwar Rao said.
Shops in the locality were closed for
nearly two hours, and the college was closed for the day.
‘Not against veil’
Asif Nagar police registered cases
under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with
deadly weapons), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 332 (voluntarily
causing hurt to a public servant) of Indian Penal Code against
unknown people. Police said that no case was registered with regard
to the burqa row as none of the students lodged a formal complaint
with the police.
Speaking to ‘Express’, college
principal Y Annapurna said some students were annoyed about the
discipline insisted by Vani Degree College for Women. “Some students
are against the discipline followed in our college and want to make
an issue out of nothing. From our side we will never insist on
any student not to wear a burqa,’’ Annapurna clarified.