Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is caught in the eye of a ‘moral policing’ storm after a hostel office put up the details of a student on the notice board as used condoms were found in his room.
The incident came to light last week and has infuriated the student committee which called it a violation of privacy and dignity, reports The New Indian Express.
The notice was put up following a vigilance check at the Brahmaputra men’s hostel during which the vigilance committee confiscated banned items like egg boiler, electric kettle, water cooler, water heater rod, iron boxes among others. The squad, however, also found matchboxes, 20 cigarette butts and used condoms lying in the student’s dustbin.
The student was subsequently shamed, with his details put up on the notice board, along with a penalty of Rs 5,000.
Students have since been protesting alleging that the officers barged into their rooms without consent, clicked pictures and insulted them. A female student has also noted that there has been rampant harassment and moral policing in the campus.
A survey conducted by students last year which documented moral policing has revealed horrifying tales. "A vigilance security officer asked if the room and bed was comfortable enough when I was at a boy's hostel during their visit," said a testimony made by a student.
On the other hand, Student General Secretary, Sriram K Kompella has appealed to the students to bring their grievances to the Student Legislative Council (SLC).
"Vigilance staff have been sensitised about being polite and to make sure the privacy and dignity of the student are maintained. Photos, if taken, are only for proof of violation. At no cost, Dean, Students Office, or hostel management office has and would indulge in insulting any student," said Kompella.
The Dean Student’s office, meanwhile, denied the allegations, saying, "No hostel office has done this act of publishing student details on the notice board. The institute will enquire further about this deviation if any."