On 5 August, female students of Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, staged a protest against hostel timings and dress code levied on them in the institute.
The students have alleged that the institute authorities have stipulated 9.30 pm as their deadline to enter the hostel, while there is no such restriction on boys. The girls further alleged that according to the rules, they would have to sleep in the lobby in case they were late.
"We are not allowed inside the hostel post 9.30 pm. We have college from 9 am to 5 pm, we go for coaching directly from there. Coaching class ends late, we get so tired. We are forced to sleep in the lobby if we don't make it by 9.30 pm. However, the rule is not the same for boys," a student named Harsha told ANI.
The issue came to the fore when female hostelites were directed that they must return to the hostel daily by 9.30 pm.
In a notice, the administration of the institute also asked girls not to wear shorts and skirts on campus. However, the decision was later dropped after protests by the students.
Meanwhile, the youngest sarpanch in the country, Bhakti Sharma agreed with the college rules and said students are not supposed to "show-off" in college.
"It is wrong to say that since you're from the 21st century you must be allowed to wear whatever you want. There should be dress code in colleges as we're there to study, and not to 'show-off', " Bhakti Sharma told ANI.
She also condemned the protest and urged the college authorities to talk to the students and sort the matter out.
"Dress code should be according to our comfort. Why should we listen to others? Why shouldn't we wear shorts? This is the 21st century," another student named Shivangi told ANI.
The female students also reportedly sat down on a dharna inside the campus wearing shorts, to highlight their discord with the college authorities.
--With ANI inputs