June17, 2023

The students of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute are protesting for the past 12 days,against the delaying and lenient approach of the administration, in dealing with the cases of sexual harassment.

A Dalit transgender student, Zena Sagar has been requesting for hostel accommodation in
the new hostel for about a month now. She was mocked by the administration in the start,
saying, “how can we provide girls hostel to someone who looks like you?”. The
administration is so insensitive in this issue, ignoring the threat and safety concerns she is
facing while staying outside campus.The institute is bound to adopt the trans person policy
as instructed to them, as per the UGC guidelines. But the administration is ignorant and
insensitive about the issue. Zena is still waiting for receiving the basic rights of an
accommodation in a residential institute like SRFTI.

The IC committee of the institute, responsible for handling cases of sexual harassment, is
constantly delaying and is biased in its investigation process. The students are constantly
asking the authority to dissolve the current ICC and constitute the new one. The leniency
with which the harassers have been treated by the ICC, has only encouraged more harassers
knowing that their behaviour will have little consequences in such an inefficient system.
One of the student complainants has received her ICC report, in which the accused associate
professor is found guilty but his act is mentioned as a minor offence by the ICC in the report,
and thus as a disciplinary action, he has been punished by giving a mere ‘strict warning.’ by
the SRFTI administration. The report released by the current ICC has omitted the crucial
testimony of a witness, which was relevant in changing the entire perspective of the report.
Now the professor roams around the campus freely. Seeing him on the college premise is
so uncomfortable that one can imagine the mental state of the student complainant.
Besides that, during the time of protest, the professor was seen mocking the students who
are protesting and verbally abusing the student union vice president of SRFTI.

In another ongoing case, a female student have raised a complaint in ICC against a senior
batch student. The accused student was prohibited from hostel premises and then he was
supposed to take permission from proctor before entering campus during the course of
enquiry as the complainant and accused can’t be in the same space as per ICC. But often he
could be seen roaming in the hostel areas of the institute. Seeing him in the educational
space has been a very triggering experience for the complainant, as she started having
suicidal thoughts and is thinking of leaving the entire course itself. In the span of 214 days,
her case have been given extension many times, causing further delays. When the
protesting students demanded an explanation regarding the reason behind giving
extensions, the administration didn’t bother to respond.

The student union of SRFTI has asked the administration to take strict action against the
guilty professor. In another student complainant case we have also requested the authority
to take strict disciplinary action against the accused student who is roaming around in the
hostel premises even after getting restricted from hostel . But SRFTI administration is
irresponsible to our plea. Students got agitated by administration’s laid back approach and
started protesting from june 5th 2023.

A complaint of bullying and passing inappropriate and degrading comments over an entire
batch of first year students have been lodged against the head of the IC committee, Miss
Oindrilla Hazra Pratapan to the dean and director of SRFTI. With effect to this complaint she
has been removed from the head of grievance committee and terminated from all the
academic activities and evaluation. She still holds the designation of, the head of the IC
committee, despite all these complaints and actions against her. The dean has assured to
form an enquiry committee on the basis of the complaints from first year students, but is
now delaying it for no reason.

The Student Union of SRFTI has tried many ways to communicate with the authority
regarding the issues we are facing, but every time we are denied our right for a safe space
on the college campus. During the fourth day of the protest itself; the Dean, Registrar and
Director of the institute left the campus in a hurry during lunch time. After the protesting
students have locked the main gate and hold accountability; the Dean, Director and
Registrar came back at 9 pm. By then, SRFTI administration had promised the students that
each of their demands will be considered and put into action, but with each passing day,
students are losing their trust in the administration process. The students have been
protesting for more than 12 days now, starting from June 5, 2023, and are constantly
questioning the authority regarding their lenient approach while dealing with the cases of
sexual harassment.
Many students of the institute are now willing to make their complaints regarding the
sexual harassment they face in campus, but the unapproachable behaviour of the current
ICC is restraining them from filing their complaints.

Our demands include:
1) Dissolving the current ICC and constituting a new one.
2) Include student representatives in the IC committee for better transparency of the
investigation, which is recommended by UGC guidelines.
3) Strict action should be taken upon the accused student on the ongoing case for violtating
ICC procedure and roaming inside the hostel premises.
4) Form an en Enquiry committee to investigate complaints against prof. Oindrilla Hazra
5) The Associate professor who is a repetitive offender should be Terminated.
6) Immediate Hostel accommodation for Zena sagar and forming of Trans policy.